Reader: Vote against Ubly school requests

Vote No Aug. 8 on the school bond proposal and sinking fund.

I have served on the board of education for over 10 years, and I am currently serving on the board. Ubly Community Schools is asking the district residents for an $8.4 million bond — 1.7 mills to be paid in 20 years and a sinking fund of $490,000 per year for 10 years — two mills.

Ubly Community Schools currently is paying on a 2008 and 2014 bond, and they are expected to be paid off by 2024. The school is also levying a millage on residence of 18 mills until 2024 on all property except principal residence and other property exempted by law that generates about $519,000 for operating purposes. When this millage expires, Ubly Community Schools will have to go back to the voters and ask for a renewal.

The proposed bond and sinking fund were not thoroughly thought out and planned. There was only one bid acquired. Generally, for this type of large scale project funded by taxpayers, one would seek at least three bids. Also, a study was not conducted to estimate the future maintenance and utility expenses that will be added to the current budget.

Also, Ubly has newly-hired administrators in the superintendent, business administrator, and high school principal positions. They have not been in place for a year to have acquired the feel for the district’s needs.

The current superintendent is steering our district in a different direction that will burden taxpayers for years to come. In the past, the administration and board set aside funds to ensure the upkeep of our current assets. There is about $850,000 set aside in uncommitted funds for routine maintenance and projects for the school buildings which include the renovation of the 1966 gym, elementary classrooms, roofing upgrades, student parking lot repaving and transportation needs.

Ubly Community Schools has lost about 160 students in the last eight years, resulting in $1.12 million in lost revenue. With the declining enrollment factor, I…

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