By Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
A proposal to renew Byron Area Schools’ Sinking Fund millage will be on the Special Election ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 6, asking voters in the Byron district to extend, for five years, a Sinking Fund millage of three mills. Voters first approved the three-mill Byron Area Schools Sinking Fund tax levy in February 2014 and have renewed the millage in March 2016 and August 2017. The current millage expires at the end of December 2019.
Byron administrators are asking voters to approve the Sinking Fund renewal to “preserve the community’s educational assets and allow the district to continue its focus on upgrading and improving school facilities.” By increasing the length of the millage from two years to five, school administrators and board members will be able to plan improvement projects more than 18 months in advance, and the district will spend less money hosting elections.
Previous Sinking Fund dollars have been used to fund significant school improvement projects, such as adding wireless infrastructure in all three school buildings, replacing inefficient boilers and piping in the elementary school, installing new classroom ventilation units, resurfacing and upgrading the track, replacing the roofs on the high school and elementary school, installing new boilers in the high school and remodeling and updating three high school science classrooms.
If the millage renewal is approved on Aug. 6, Sinking Fund revenue will be used to resurface the deteriorating school parking lots and driveways, replace interior and exterior lighting with energy efficient solutions and update and address the bleachers in the football stadium. The energy efficient lighting will substantially reduce energy costs and allow the district to qualify for energy efficient rebates.
Byron Superintendent Tricia Murphy-Alderman is willing to speak with any voters who may have questions or need further information. She can be reached via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, at (810) 266-4881.