Buchanan wants to know why you voted 'no' on school bond

BUCHANAN, Mich. – Buchanan Community Schools is working to find a new plan after a more than $19 million bond issue failed.

The school district said it needs a number of repairs that its general funds can’t support, including leaking roofs, and slow and sometimes impossible, internet connections.
After a number of attempts to pass a new bond issue, the school district just wants answers from the community, on why they voted ‘no’.
“We want to know, what it was that kept them from voting for this bond?” said Superintendent Dr. Andrea van der Laan.
After the last bond failed in May of 2011, they took community input, and cut the number down to the just over 19 million.
“There’s no fluff in this bond. It’s what the kids need. Its infrastructure, it’s the technology, the leaky roofs and the windows, some of these buildings haven’t been upgraded in 40 or 50 years,” said van der Laan.
She said she wants to hear from people who voted ‘no’ on why they did so.
She said she spoke to one voter who said she chose to vote ‘no’ because the bond language was just too confusing.
She said the bond language is broad and stays that way because if construction and repairs happen to be cheaper and extra money is left over, they can use the money on other repairs before having to go to another vote.
She said you don’t have to worry about the money being spent in the wrong way.
 “We’re audited on what we said we’re going to do. We’re audited on all the money. So we can’t spend it any way. It has to be what’s in that treasury report,” said van der Laan.
Next on the agenda, get feedback from the voters to hopefully get the funds the school needs.
“Right now we’re hoping community members call in and give us the information as to why they voted ‘no’ so we can take another look at that,” said van der Laan.
But she said she knows the issues aren’t going away.
It’s not an issue that’s going away, the walls in the middle school still won’t be built, we still have a boiler to fix, we still have technology issues, roofs that needs to be replaced, so a matter of gathering more information and seeing where we go from here,” said van der Laan.
If you have feedback, you can contact the superintendent’s office at (269) 695-8401 ext. 2000.

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