Voters turned down a $56 million bond initiative that, had it passed, was designed to fund capital expenditures to renovate and update Macomb Community College facilities and the school’s technology infrastructure.
According to the unofficial results the Macomb County Clerk’s Office released Nov. 7, it was a close race, with 186,386 or 52.9 percent of the voters turning it down, while 166,099 or 47.1 percent of those who went to the polls voted in favor of it.
The slight tax increase would have funded renovations at South Campus in Warren and Center Campus in Clinton Township. Many of the college's buildings were built more than 40 years ago. The tax increase was designed to fund technology updates, improve heating, cooling, plumbing and lighting systems, and increase accessibility to reflect Americans With Disabilities Act mandates.
Had it passed, school officials said the bond proposal would have cost the average Macomb County homeowner — based on the taxable value of the home — $8.94 per year, an approximate 0.15 mill increase. If the bond initiative had been approved, the debt levy would have started to appear on tax bills in 2014.
The $56 million would not have been spent all at once, but rather over a span of several years between 2013 and 2020. Each of the renovations would have cost $1 million to $2 million per building, MCC President Jim Jacobs said.
Construction on the projects would have begun in 2013. Bond funds cannot be used for staff salaries, benefits, standard repairs or other operating expenditures.
Along with the MCC bond, voters cast their ballots for the college’s Board of Trustees. Joseph DeSantis and Roseanne DiMaria were re-elected with 95,767 and 95,631 votes, respectively defeating Joseph Backus, Kristi Dean, and Peter Szyszkowski for the two open six-year terms.
In the college’s board of trustee’s race for the one partial term ending Dec. 31, 2014, Frank Cusumano — with 89,415 votes — defeated Eugene Groesbeck, Charley Jackson and Edward O'Neil.
Clintondale Community Schools also held its school board election Nov. 6. Lois Murray, appointed earlier this year to by the board to fill a vacancy, was elected with 3,425 votes. Incumbent Rick Yaworski was re-elected with 2,625 votes. Both elected officials ran unopposed and will serve two partial terms ending Dec. 31, 2014.
Fitzgerald Public Schools also held its school board election Nov. 6. Incumbents Donald Brewer and Judy Furgal were re-elected to the two open six-year terms. According to the unofficial results, Brewer received 2,898 votes and Furgal received 3,203.
You can reach Staff Writer Maria Allard at (586) 498-1045.
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