Gwinn district asking for money to fix schools

Apr 26, 2016

GWINN, MI--   The Gwinn Area Community Schools District is trying again to pass a millage proposal to fix critical needs. 

Superintendent Tom Jayne

Officials are asking for a 1-mill increase over 15 years, which would generate $4.4 million in bonds. 

Superintendent Tom Jayne says the money would be used to replace two elementary school roofs, buy eight school buses in the next five years, update technology and building safety, and replace parking lots pitted by potholes. 

Jayne says the roof at KI Sawyer Elementary is so bad that buckets are placed around the school to catch drips when it rains.  He says if the proposal doesn’t pass the district would have to use general fund money to replace the roof.  That would bring the district under a state-mandated five-percent fund equity, which would require cuts in other areas.

“It would force us to make some unpleasant reductions in our services and personnel in order to meet the physical needs of our district,” he says.

Jayne says Gwinn is the lowest additional-milled district in MARESA, and will remain so even if the proposal passes. 

“It’s not a large increase—it’s an average of 32 dollars a year for an average homeowner—and to me our students are worth just as much as all the surrounding districts.” 

The school election takes place Tuesday, May 3.