Residents Have Mixed Reactions to Fenton's $9.6 Million Bond
Fenton Schools would use the funds to purchase technology, school buses and improve traffic flow.
Some Fenton residents stand behind the Fenton Board of Education's application for a $9.6 million bond to be placed on the May 8 ballot. Others aren't so sure.
Fenton Schools approved the proposal and in January and would use the funds to purchase technology, school buses, improve traffic flow at Andrew G. Schmidt Middle School and increase parking capacity at State Road Elementary. Additional security updates are also planned for every school building, according to the Fenton's Area Public Schools website.
Many Fenton residents posted their feelings about the bond on the Fenton Patch Facebook Page.
Theresa Cummings said she will support the bond for sure.
"Our technology is so outdated," she said. "Our children need to have this to be successful now and in the future! The drop off and parking situations are very dangerous and we need upgrades to alleviate this problem."
Vera Hogan said "no way" to the parking lot reconstruction.
"One of the things they want to do is improve the traffic flow between AGS and the high school. They redid that a few years ago - no DO OVERS!" she posted
School officials say current computers don't have, and will not support, the programs and systems required for students and staff.
"Technology, research and writing are necessary skills for today's job market," Fenton Superintendent Timothy Jalkanen said, according to the Tri-County Times. "In order to be competitive with other school districts in the county, we need to update our technology."
Officials also said Fenton buses at the average are 12 years old and are getting expensive to repair.
Kristine Kundrick said she will support the bond, albeit reluctantly.
"I still have a child in the system and if you do not support the bond, the school will go for blood and cut out busing or some other vital service claiming they have no money," she said.
A $9.6 million bond would equal approximately a 1 mill increase or about $80 annually for a home with a market value of $160,000.
Kristie Trapp said it may not sound like much, but it all adds up.
"I see the need but would have a hard time saying yes because of all the families who are barely scraping by as it is," she said.
If the bond doesn’t pass, the district will make improvements as it can afford them or take money from the general fund, according to the Flint Journal.
“We want to keep those general fund dollars really focused on the classroom,” Doug Busch, director of finance and personnel, told the Flint Journal.