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East Grand Rapids Public Schools

Tradition of Excellence

Recreation Millage

November 2, 2021 Ballot Proposal Background Information

In 2004, the community approved a 20-year Recreation Millage that offset overhead operating costs associated with operating athletic, performing arts, and classroom facilities during after-school hours that were previously funded through the general fund. Last school year, $965,000 in instructional resources were preserved as a result of the Recreation Millage. That millage is set to expire in 2 years.

On November 2, 2021, the community will vote on a new 20-year Recreation Millage that will, if approved, mostly renew the millage passed in 2004 that is set to expire in 2023. This new millage will begin in the summer 2024 and extend through 2043, ensuring long-term stability. This ballot question is wholly separate and unique from the City’s Parks Improvement Bond Proposal. The Recreation Millage does not directly fund any City program or capital expenditure.  Rather, the District’s Recreation Millage supports basic operations including custodians, maintenance, and utilities to pay for support of after-school programs at all levels (elementary, middle school, and high school) including, but not limited to, clubs, drama programs, youth and school-based athletics, and City of EGR Recreation Department programs.
 

Informational Presentations

Community members are invited to attend one of the following Recreational Millage Informational Presentations:
 
Thursday, September 23 at 8:30 a.m. - Wealthy Elementary PTO Meeting
Thursday, September 23 at 9:30 a.m. - Breton Downs Elementary PTO Meeting
Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. - Lakeside Elementary PTO Meeting 
Wednesday, October 13 at 3:00 p.m. - Community Virtual  Presentation
Thursday, October 14 at 9:00 a.m. - High School PTO Meeting 
Monday, October 25 at 9:00 a.m. - Middle School PTO Meeting
 
The slideshow presentation being presented can be viewed here.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: May I review the actual ballot language?
 
A: The following ballot language will be presented to voters on November 2, 2021:
 
EAST GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
MILLAGE PROPOSAL TO PROVIDE FUNDS
TO OPERATE A SYSTEM OF PUBLIC RECREATION AND PLAYGROUNDS
 
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in East Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent County, Michigan, be increased by and the board of education be authorized to levy not to exceed 1.5 mills ($1.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 20 years, 2024 to 2043, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for operating a system of public recreation and playgrounds; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect for such recreation program if the millage is approved and levied in 2024 is approximately $1,253,670?


Q: How much will this millage cost an average homeowner each year?
 
A: The following table outlines examples of what homeowners might pay under the current Recreation Millage and the new Recreation Millage, if approved.
 
   
Current Millage
Proposed 2024 Millage
 
Home Cash Value
Taxable Value
1.1803 mills
1.5000 mills
Increase
$300,000
$150,000
$177
$225
$48
$400,000
$200,000
$236
$300
$64
$500,000
$250,000
$295
$375
$80
$600,000
$300,000
$354
$450
$96
 
Q: Will homeowners pay both the current Recreation Millage and the new Recreation Millage at the same time?
 
A: No. The new Recreation Millage will begin only after the existing Recreation Millage expires.  The current Recreation Millage expires in 2023 and the new Recreation Millage, if approved, will begin in 2024.


Q: Why is this millage being presented to voters two years before the current Recreation Millage expires?
 
A: The current Recreation Millage has been an integral part of the District’s finances since 2004.  The request for a new Recreation Millage from 2024 to 2043 is part of the District’s long-term planning and strategic plan for stability of programming.


Q: Why is the District requesting 1.5 mills for the new Recreation Millage when the original Recreation Millage was only authorized for 1.4 mills?
 
A: The additional 0.1 mill was calculated to approximately offset the three Headlee rollback millage rate reductions that may occur in 2022, 2023, and 2024 before the new Recreation Millage, if approved, is levied for the first time. The actual levy in 2024 may be higher or lower than the 1.4000 mills targeted.


Q: How does the district plan to utilize the revenues generated if a new Recreation Millage is authorized?
 
A: If a new Recreation Millage is authorized, the District would continue to support operational costs related to after-school recreational activities in District facilities as has been the case since 2004.  These costs primarily involve custodians, maintenance, and utility costs.  In the early years of a new 20-year Recreation Millage, additional revenues would be available for capital improvements to existing facilities, including modernization of the lighting, sound, and safety systems of the Performing Arts Center and outdoor group gathering spaces at Breton Downs, Lakeside, and Wealthy elementary schools.
 
 
Q: I can not attend any of the informational sessions and I have a question not addressed above.  How can I get that question answered?
 
A: Please reach out to Anthony Morey, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, with your question.  He can be reached by phone at 616-235-3535 or by email at amorey@egrps.org. 
 
 
Q: Where can I get information on how to vote?
 
A: Questions about voting can be answered by Karen Brower, City Clerk, at 616-949-2110 or by email at elections@eastgr.org.