Voters made sound decision on MAPS millage request

Voters in Tuesday’s election came out solidly in support of the Marquette Area Public Schools sinking fund millage request.

By a 2,687 to 1,533 margin, district voters approved the .95-mill request for 10 years, which will provide about $1.1 million in revenues for the first year.

Under a sinking fund millage, revenues from the levy can only be used for building maintenance and upgrades – not for salaries, benefits or other general operational expenditures.

MAPS did a good job getting the word out to voters what the fund would be used for, with a list of projects running 22 pages available on the district’s website, and holding public information sessions on the request.

The long list of projects includes everything from major efforts such as replacing the original 50 ventilator units at the high school and replacement or repair of the swimming pool – projects estimated to cost nearly $500,000 each – to building storage lockers on sports decks and reconstructing a ramp in the art gallery entrance – projects estimated to cost less than $2,000 each.

These are but a few examples on the high and low ends of the planned upgrades, with dozens and dozens of other projects with costs across the spectrum. The roughly $11 million in revenues that the levy will generate over its 10-year lifespan will certainly help make those needed projects doable.

And we understand that millage levies are not the most popular items to appear on an election ballot, but we also understand that school districts have a complex set of buildings and equipment that must be maintained and upgraded on nearly a continuous basis.

It appears the voters did, too, when backing the MAPS sinking fund millage request.

MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders strongly voiced his gratitude to the community for supporting the district’s request, especially in recognizing the need to tackle some of the problems with the aging buildings.

After all, everyone associated with the school district and the community have a common goal – provide our children with the best possible education in the proper buildings and other facilities that are maintained in the most efficient manner.