Frequently Asked Questions

It is the mission of Coopersville Area Public Schools to inspire all students to embrace a life-long love of learning, to achieve their goals and to be compassionate citizens who contribute to the global community. On May 3, 2022, our community voted to pass a bond proposal that is generating $42,900,000 for district-wide improvements to address identified and ongoing building, facility, and site issues with no tax rate increase over the current rate.

What are the key focuses in this bond proposal? 

This bond proposal addresses the highest priority projects and focuses on:

  • Improvements to safety and security

  • Addressing campus-wide infrastructure

  • Upgrading learning environments

  • For a list of proposed projects, visit the district’s website
     

What is a bond proposal and how can funds from a bond be spent? 

A bond proposal is how a public school district asks its community for authorization to borrow money to pay for capital expenditures. Voter-approved bond funds can be spent on new construction, additions, remodeling, site improvements, athletic facilities, playgrounds, buses, furnishings, equipment, and other capital needs. Funds raised through the sale of bonds cannot be used on operational expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, school supplies, and textbooks. Bond funds must be kept separate from operating funds and expenditures must be audited by an independent auditing firm. 

 

How does the bond proposal impact my property taxes? 

The millage rate is projected to remain the same as the current levy with no tax rate increase to property owners. The debt millage rate has been 8.99 mills since 2016, and is projected to remain at 8.99 mills.

 

In 2015, 2019, and 2021 the CAPS School Board refunded the bond debt, which along with the investment strategies, are projected to save our taxpayers over $29 million in interest costs and moved the expected payoff date of existing debt for the District from 2040 to 2035.

 

Are bus purchases going to be amortized over a 30 year period?

No. Bus purchases are required to be amortized over a 6 year period beginning at the time the buses are put into service.

 

Is there a technology replacement plan?

Yes, each bond series has an allowance for future technology purchases and updates.

 

Are businesses and second homes (non-homestead properties) and primary homes (homestead properties) treated the same regarding bond millage?

Yes, businesses and second homes (non-homestead properties) and primary homes (homestead properties) are treated the same regarding bond millage. All properties that are subject to property taxation are assessed for the debt millage rate based on their taxable value.

 

Would money from the bond proposal be used to pay teachers’ salaries and benefits?

No. School districts are not allowed to use funds from a bond for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator or employee salaries, routine maintenance, or operating costs. Bond proceeds can only be spent for purposes approved by the voters. Bond proceeds must be kept separate from operating funds and expenditures must be audited by an independent auditing firm.  

 

At what point would the State of Michigan, as well as the local fire and police departments, provide input regarding the bond projects? 

Each project will be required to be submitted to both the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) and the Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) for both plan review and permitting. These agencies will review the projects to ensure they comply with applicable codes, before any building permits are issued. Building plans and specifications must be signed and sealed by a Licensed Architect/Professional Engineer before submission. As of March 21, 2019, Michigan law requires school districts to consult on the plans for the construction or major renovation regarding school safety issues with the law enforcement agency that is the first responder for that school building. This consultation would happen after a bond proposal has been approved by voters, before construction documents are finalized prior to project commencement.

What is the length of the bond term?

The existing bonds and the new bonds, if approved, have 30-year maturities.  Bonds are sold with different maturities so each and every year a certain number would be repaid within 30 years.  With no new bond issue, the District is anticipated to exit the School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) program by 2035, with the millage rate estimated to drop significantly while we pay off the remaining outstanding bonds.  With the approval of the new bond proposal, the District would exit the SLRF program in 2042, with the millage rate estimated to drop significantly while the remainder of the new bonds are retired.

How much of the bond is being spent on the key categories?

Pie Chart by Topic.JPG

What is the bond expense breakdown by building and site?

Pie Chart by Building.JPG