DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools will launch a survey and hold at least four public meetings to gather public feedback on infrastructure needs in the district and whether residents would support a vote for a bond or other tax millage to pay to fix those needs.
District residents can attend any of four meetings to learn more about infrastructure needs and financing, and to share their thoughts with district officials. Meetings are set for:
• April 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Edsel Ford High School cafeteria.
• April 26 at 5 p.m. in the Dearborn High.
• April 27 at 5 p.m. in the Fordson High School.
• April 28 at 6 p.m. via a virtual meeting broadcast on the district’s YouTube channel and Facebook with the opportunity to submit questions online. Residents can also attend in the boardroom at the Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette.
Residents also can fill out an online Google Form to share what they see as the top infrastructure needs in the district and how the district should fund the work.
A fifth live meeting may be added to the calendar, but those details are still being worked out.
The input gathered from the survey and the meetings will be presented to the Board of Education at its May 9 regular meeting at 7 p.m.
The board turned its regular monthly meeting April 11 into a study session to discuss funding options and infrastructure needs in the district. A citizen’s committee last month recommended the district put a bond question on the November ballot to pay for infrastructure needs, but at the April 11 meeting, most trustees said they were reluctant to go out for a bond at this time. Some suggested the district could ask for a smaller sinking fund millage.
A 2 mill sinking fund would generate a total of $87 million over 10 years while 1 mill would generate about $43 million over that time. A bond question asking residents to keep the current 3.5 millage rate to pay for a 20-year bond would generate $200 million to make more widespread repairs.
While the board would not have to formally vote until later this year to put a bond or sinking fund question on the November 2022 ballot, district administrators have asked for a decision this spring. That would provide DPS more time to clarify information about the district’s plan and to present it to the public.
“We know the district has significant infrastructure needs beyond what we can realistically meet with our annual funding from the state,” Supt. Glenn Maleyko said. “We are glad to work with the board and the public as trustees consider funding options to meet those needs.”