Metro Detroit voters deciding school issues in election

Voters in several Metro Detroit communities are deciding Tuesday on school bond requests, millage renewals and other local issues. Polls in the communities with issues and candidates on the ballot are open until 8 p.m. 

Saul Grunfeld votes during a special election for an Oak Park Schools bond proposal at the Oak Park Community Center, May 4, 2021.

The biggest of those school money requests is a $186 million bond issue sought by the Livonia Public Schools. The issue calls for 1.37 mills to be levied for 20 years to equip and furnish educational facilities.

District officials said the funding, which would not result in a tax increase, is needed to address numerous needs in the school system’s 28 buildings, which are an average of 60 years old. 

Projects would include updating and replacing instructional technology; buying furniture and instructional equipment for classrooms; making security enhancements; replacing school buses and playground equipment, and improving athletic areas such as the high school field houses, pools, annex buildings and middle school gymnasiums. 

Numerous other Wayne County districts are seeking similar, smaller bond issues for facility, technology and transportation needs, promoting the face that the requests wouldn’t result in a tax increase. Among them: 

Woodhaven-Brownstown: A $144 million, 30-year bond issue to erect, furnish and equip buildings. 

South Redford: A $79.9 million, 30-year bond issue to construct, develop, equip and furnish buildings.

Allen Park: A $74.2 million bonding program over the next 30 years to be funded by 1.01 mills.

Redford Union: A $59.2 million building and site proposal, to be funded by 2.15 mills over 30 years.

Dearborn Heights: A $6.4 million building and site proposal to be funded by .89 mills for 20 years.

Also on the ballot in Wayne County: 

Romulus Community Schools: A 0.5-mill increase for operations for 10 years, expected to raise $10.2 million a year.

Wyandotte: residents were choosing choose between Mayor-pro tem Robert DeSana and Frank Tarnowski for mayor for the next four years. In other nonpartisan races, 11 candidates are vying for six city council seats: Robert K. Alderman; Nick Beaven; Chris Calvin; Kaylan Crayne; Eric A. Dodson; Todd Hand; Michael Izbicki; Don Schultz; Rosemary Shuryan; Kelly Stec; and Richard J. Symczevk. 

Oakland County

The Oak Park school district is asking voters to approve a $54.4 million, 30-year bond issue for construction and remodeling of school facilities, technology equipment and infrastructure, furniture and site improvements. Four district elementary schools — Einstein, Key, Lessenger and Pepper — would receive mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, for instance.

If the measure passes, the district would not result in an increase of the 5.98 mills the district collects.

Also on the ballot in Oakland County:

Northville Public Schools: An operating millage renewal, not to exceed 19.2383 mills for five years, 2022 through 2026. Estimated revenue would be about $10 million in the first year if approved. Taxpayers residing in the Wayne County part of the district also were voting on the renewal.

 West Bloomfield School District: A 2-mill non-homestead operating millage for four years. Approval was expected to raise $691,139 for operating expenses in 2021.

Franklin: A charter amendment that would bar the village council from constructing of any new sidewalks in residential areas, excepting along Franklin and 13 Mile roads.

Macomb County

Memphis Community Schools: An operating millage of up to 18 mills for 10 years (2022-31), with expected revenue of $1.4 million in 2022, and a sinking fund of 1 mill for five years for the purpose of purchasing real estate and construction or repair of buildings, buying school security equipment and upgrading technology. Approval of the sinking fund issue is expected to raise $247,000 in 2022.