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APS bond vote expected today

ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education is expected to make a decision today about whether or not to ask voters in March to approve a multimillion-dollar bond proposal.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Gerry Ludwig Board Room of the district administration building, 2373 Gordon Road.

Board members are expected to vote on whether to ask voters to approve the sale of $33.9 million in bonds. Money raised through the bond sale would be used for facilities repairs and renovations throughout the district.

The bonds would be repaid through property taxes over several years, though district officials said they do not expect taxes to increase.

Property owners are still paying off the district’s previous bond sale from 1996, putting 1.8 mills — about $90 a year for the owner of a $100,000 house — toward that debt this year.

If no new bond sale is approved, that tax is expected to drop to 0.67 mills next year. If voters approve the new bond sale, the district would keep charging 1.8 mills and use the difference to make payments on the new bonds.

The remaining $4.4 million of the district’s current bond debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2021. After that, the full 1.8 mills would be used to pay the new bond debt. If the bonds are rejected, that property tax would go away.

The focus of the bond money would be for facilities repairs, such as roofs, boilers, and security at the schools.

The district has had issues this school year with roofs and boilers. The Wilson Elementary School roof had standing water on it days after it rained in October and the district has been told that that roof should only last another year.

Roofs are also a problem at Alpena High School and Ella White and Lincoln elementaries.

Boiler issues are happening at the high school, at Alternative Choices for Educational Success Academy, and at Ella White, Hinks, Sanborn, and Wilson elementaries.

The decision today follows two months of discussions after voters overwhelmingly rejected an earlier bond proposal in May.

That proposal was for $63 million and was intended to tear down and rebuild Ella White, complete major renovations to the high school, and other upgrades to the other schools within the district. Taxes would have hiked significantly if that project was approved.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.

If you go

WHAT: Alpena Public Schools Board of Education meeting

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Gerry Ludwig Board Room, district administration building, 2373 Gordon Road

INFO: The APS Board of Education is expected to make a decision about whether or not to ask voters in March to approve a multimillion-dollar bond proposal.

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