Hancock school board discusses millage renewal

HANCOCK – On Monday, the Hancock Public Schools Board of Education discussed when to have an election for the renewal of the district’s 18 mill operational millage.

Superintendent Monica Healy said the district’s business managers and a law firm they use for district issues recommended having the millage renewal election in May, when there would be a better chance of passage, rather than on the August or November ballots.

In order to get it on the May ballot, they have to submit the proposal to the Houghton County clerk by Feb. 25.

Healy said the proposed non-homestead millage renewal would be for the 2015 school year. If approved, it would raise $900,000, which is 14 to 15 percent of the district budget.

Trustee Paula Nutini asked Healy if there were any records of how past millages fared by election months, and Healy said she’d check.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a millage not pass,” she said.

Trustee Glenn North said he is concerned about spending the thousands of dollars needed to get the renewal on a special May election.

“I’ve got a problem with spending $6,000 or $7,000,” he said. “I have enough confidence in our voters (to have the election in August or November).”

Interim Board President Robbyn Lucier said she thinks the board should take the advice of the experts regarding the May election. The district needs the millage to operate.

The board members took no action on the millage election issue, but they will discuss it again Jan. 13 work session.

Board members also approved the most recent deficit reduction plan for the district.

According to information provided by Healy, at the end of the 2012-13 school year, the deficit was at $60,960; at the end of the 2013-14 school year, it is expected to be $199,951; at the end of the 2014-15 school year, it’s expected to be $18,148.

In other business, board members:

approved a Best Practices resolution.

approved the sale of 2014 refunding bonds.