Voters reject sinking find tax proposal

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By Cortney Erndt
Williamston Post staff writer

WILLIAMSTON — Williamston Community Schools’ sinking fund proposal was rejected on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The proposal included a levy of 1.00 mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) which would raise approximately $385,000 when first levied in 2012. The sinking fund would have had a 10-year duration.

City of Williamston Precinct 1 was the only area that favored the proposal with 502 for the sinking fund and 468 against.

The issue failed 3,084 to 2,707. Williamstown Township rolled in 787 “no” votes, leaving Precinct 1 with the most voters against the proposal.

After voting in Williamston, High School Senior Zach Parker said he has not noticed faults that need repairs in the high school. Williamston Community School’s had no school on Election Day.

“There are already a lot of taxes in Williamston as it is with stuff like the park…and the bridge. The school has been slacking in budget…but people are struggling as it is,” Parker said.

However, parents of Williamston Community Schools said they want the best for their children.

Parent Tammy Stanley said: “I have kids in Williamston schools. They do a great job and I want them to continue. If that means raising my taxes a little bit to make my kids more educated – OK, let’s do that.”

Other taxpayers did not want another tax, regardless of whether they are involved in the school or not.

“I just don’t want more millage,” Jeff Church said, “I’ve been involved in this school district, but it just seems like the taxes are awful high already.”

Many citizens were uninformed about the proposal, but voted to support schools.

“Williamston is the kind of town that would vote for (the Sinking Fund Proposal),” Williamston Resident Marshall VanAntwerp said, “They don’t get the fact that every time they vote to have a fund, that it’s their money.”

Since millage will not rise, the community’s students will be affected.

Stanley was disappointed when she brought her kids to the middle school to play basketball.

Stanley said: “I was like, ‘This is hideous…it was disgusting. They really need to update, inside and out.”

Williamston Community Schools will need to reconsider priorities on their budget. The state does not provide funding for building improvements.

In an interview before the election, Williamston High School Principal Dr. Jeffrey Thoenes said: “You can’t have a good building if it’s not maintained. You want to have a safe place that’s conducive to learning for students.”

Although the proposal did not pass, Williamston Community Schools Superintendent Narda Murphy said the only responses she heard about the proposal were favorable.

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