Benzie Central School District Superintendent and Sunrise Rotarian Matt Olson updated the club on the upcoming School Millage Vote.
A 20 year 0.9 mill "Sinking Fund" property tax millage is on the May 2nd ballet to provide funds for needs identified during a recent review of the district's facilities.  A Sinking Fund millage is a special, limited property tax used for major repairs and renovations to school buildings including school security, technology improvements and site improvements.  The fund cannot be used for administration, staff or teacher salaries, furniture & equipment, buses, operating costs, maintenance or supplies.  
In December of 2016, the district brought in an architecture and engineering firm to create a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the district's facilities.  In January, 2017, a committee of approximately 25 citizens was brought together to review the results of the assessment and to develop a plan to address the $26 million in identified needs.  On January 30 the committee presented it's recommendations to the Board of Education a follows:
1)  A 10-year, 0.9 mill sinking fund to address immediate and lower cost needs.
2)  Consolidation of Platte River and Crystal Lake Elementary Schools to maximize operational efficiency.
3)  A future extension of the current 1.6 mill bond levy to address higher cost needs and address the remaining issues from the Needs Assessment.
The money will be used for improvements to the Middle School and High School, Lake Ann Elementary and Betsie Valley Elementary.  For Crystal Lake & Platte River Elementary Schools the funds will be used for emergency needs only until a final plan is developed on consolidating the 2 schools and moving the 6th grade to the Middle School.
If passed, the .09 Mill Increase is expected to generate $700,000 each year for 10 years.  
Superintendent Olson expressed the importance of the millage to the future of Benzie Central Schools and making the district the top choice for area residents.  Currently approximately 500 students who live in the district attend schools in other districts including TCAPS, Frankfort and Glen Lake.