IM school proposal passes; Breitung Township Schools proposal defeated

KINGSFORD – Voters in the Breitung Township School District turned down a request for a sinking fund during Tuesday’s primary election, while Iron Mountain voters approved a renewal of 18 mills on all non-Homestead property.

In Breitung Township, the sinking fund request was defeated with 817 opposed to 652 in favor.

The renewal millage in Iron Mountain was approved with 441 votes in favor to 261 against.

Results from the Dickinson County primary showed the voter turnout was 14.47 percent

The request from the Breitung Township School District was to levy up to .7 mills a year for the next 10 years for a sinking fund.

Supt. Craig Allen said that they could have levied anything from no millage to .7 mills each year depending on what types of projects that needed to be done.

With the way that schools are funded, the district has had no extra money to put aside in a fund to make public improvements to the school district. They are limited by how much they receive annually for each student through the state foundation allowance.

“The board will have to reassess what course of action to take now that this was defeated. We will have to regroup,” Allen said.

He added there is a definite need for this revenue for the school district. “I was surprised that we did not get the support for this considering that our community has strongly supported the school district in the past. I’m confused as to why this wasn’t passed – it’s a reasonable millage request.”

Allen said that the sinking fund would have generated supplemental revenue to enhance the school system since there is little they can do with the way the funding is currently set up through the state.

“It could have been that this was a summer vote for us and with school not in session, it wasn’t in people’s minds. Although our community typically passes school millage requests, the yes votes didn’t come in Tuesday. Marquette County’s millage request passed as well as everywhere else across the U.P., so it’s a bit of a surprise that it didn’t happen here in Breitung Township,” Allen said.

The Breitung Township Schools Board of Education will be meeting Monday at 7 p.m. in the board room of the administration building. Allen said that the results of the election will be discussed with the issue probably going to the finance committee to come up with what direction to take. They will also talk through possible reasons why the sinking bond proposal request failed.

“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t pass this sinking fund proposal. There are few ways we can generate money in a school district to enhance our general fund and get anything accomplished,” Allen added.

During the November 2013 general election, BTS had two millage proposals before voters. One was a renewal of the 18 mills on non-Homestead property for a 20 year period – the other was a building and site sinking fund tax levy for up to .65 mills for 10 years. The renewal was approved, but the sinking fund was defeated with 633 no votes to 578 yes votes.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is