Center Line bond proposal, millage renewal on May 2 ballot

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published February 3, 2023


WARREN/CENTER LINE — Two Center Line Public Schools proposals will be on the May 2 special school election ballot.

At the Jan. 23 Board of Education meeting, the board voted 7-0 to place a zero-mill increase capital improvement bond that will generate $17 million for the projects. If it passes, the 2023 bond is for 25 years.

The board also voted 7-0 to place a restoration operating millage renewal proposal on the ballot.

According to school officials, neither proposal will increase the current tax rate and are designed to maintain tax rates at the current level.

The Jan. 23 meeting, held at the David W. Hanselman Municipal Complex, was a joint meeting between the school board and the Center Line City Council. The council did not vote on the two action items.


Operational mileage renewal
The operating millage renewal comes before the taxpayers every 10 years. It is a different funding source than a bond.

“The operating millage is about 30% of how we get funded,” Haynes said. “If it passes we stay at the same rate we are currently at.”

Funds from the operating millage renewal, if passed, will be used to pay for the everyday expenses of operating schools, including salaries for teachers and support staff, heat, buses, diesel fuel, electricity, after-school activities, athletics and much more. The superintendent said that if the millage renewal does not pass, the district will have to cut 30% of its budget, which is about $3,198 per student.

“That means transportation will go up, class sizes will go up because we can’t keep personnel at the same rate. It really is detrimental to the district,” Haynes said. “I think we have to do a good job of explaining to people the difference between a bond, which is construction and adding to our buildings. Operating millage is people paying for the gas, electricity, paper, pencils, all that kind of stuff. It just happens to coincide that both of them are coming up at the same time.”


Bond proposal
Center Line Public Schools passed a $53.95 million bond issue in November 2017. Bond project work was to be done throughout the district. The bond projects were to be completed in three series. But because of COVID-19, some projects were put on hold as the costs associated with them increased.

“When it passed it was designed to do a lot of good for our district,” Haynes said. “COVID hit when we got to series two, which was Roose Elementary, the administration building and some improvements to the high school and middle school. We got slapped in the face with anywhere between 10% to 40% increases. So we were forced to go back and reduce the scope of what we wanted to do.

“We had to have money to finish series two work, so we did a pretty good job using our savings from series one to get through series two,” Haynes said. “When series three came around, we had 40% or more cost increases. That forced us to go back into our scope of work. We made our reductions with where we are at.”

If passed, funds from the zero-mill-increase bond request would be used to continue capital improvements throughout the district.

“We’re not increasing the tax. It’s a maintenance of the bond,” Haynes said. “We want to keep the millage rate the same. It’s about 1.93 mills.”

A bond proposal is developed by the school district and presented to the voters for approval. When a bond proposal passes, the bonds are sold in the capital markets at a date determined by the district, a financial advisor and an underwriter. Upon closing, funds generated from the bond sale are deposited in the district’s construction fund and are available to spend for completion of the projects contemplated in the bond proposal.

Partners in Architecture PLC, based in Mount Clemens, are the architects for the bond projects. McCarthy and Smith, of Farmington Hills, is the construction manager.

At last week’s meeting, Partners in Architecture PLC architectural designer Brian Hinz went over projects for the 2023 bond should it pass May 2.

The 2023 bond projects include two classroom additions and an outdoor learning environment at Crothers Elementary School, districtwide technology upgrades, updates at the Eve Kaltz Academy 21 & Special Programs Center, and also at the district’s transportation and maintenance building.

“Wolfe Middle School will upgrade their media center into a student collaboration space, a partial roof replacement and upgrading and expanding the fire alarm system, and concrete access drive replacement to the west,” Hinz said. “Center Line High School, it’s very similar improvements to Wolfe Middle School, but the natatorium (pool) is getting a scoreboard, house lighting replacement and new tennis courts. The existing tennis courts are in really bad shape. The north parking lot is in terrible need of replacements.”

A complete list of 2017 and 2023 bond projects is available at the district’s website at under bond information.


Center Line Public Schools will hold the following community information nights regarding the two ballot proposals:

• 7 p.m. Feb. 9, Center Line High School media center, 26300 Arsenal Ave., Center Line.

• 6 p.m. Feb. 15, Center Line High School media center, 26300 Arsenal Ave., Center Line.

• 9:30 a.m. March 1, Center Line High School auditorium, 26300 Arsenal Ave., Center Line.

• 6 p.m. March 2, Roose Elementary School cafeteria, 4701 Marcy St., Warren. (A Bengali interpreter will be present.)