Community Votes Down Sinking Fund Millage

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Repairs and upgrades in the Williamston Community School District will have to wait after voters rejected a sinking fund millage for the second time.

The millage would've provided the district $4 million over the next 10 years to help fund repairs and maintenance of its facilities.

Those repairs are much-needed and long overdue, according to Williamston Superintendent Narda Murphy who said she was disappointed by the outcome.

"I mean, you put a lot into it and you know the kind of impact it's going to have on the budget and the difference it's going to make and you just kind of count on that because there are some very significant facility needs."

Murphy said the district has already been making cuts across the board and finding the funds for necessary building repairs is going to be challenging.

"Administration staff we've cut, maintenance staff, we've cut support staff, you know there's just no place to go," she said. "The sinking fund would've allowed us with a little more place to breath."

Part of the problem, Murphy said, is that the problems the sinking fund would've addressed aren't necessarily noticeable issues and because that many voters either simply didn't know enough about the millage or didn't care enough to vote at all.

"Maybe we didn't do a good enough job educating the voters on the need and where to vote and when to vote and what a sinking fund is," Murphy said.

And for that reason, district officials are heading back to the drawing board to determine where to go from here.

Becky Langham, a parent with a child in the district, said she was frustrated by the outcome and hopes the district and voters will move forward to place the proposal on the ballot again.

"My concern is I'd hate to have it become a problem that we have to deal with later when we had the opportunity to deal with it in a preventative measure," Langham said. "That's just big picture thinking."

District officials said they will be analyzing what happened in this most recent election and might move to have the proposal placed on the ballot again in August.

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