Voters head to polls for bond election Aug. 6

By: Sara Kandel, Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published July 31, 2013

Bond proposal

Shall the Farmington Public School District, County of Oakland, Michigan, borrow the principal sum of not to exceed Two Hundred Twenty-Two Million Dollars ($222,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds for the purpose of defraying the cost of making the following improvements:

• remodeling, equipping, furnishing, re-equipping and refurnishing School District buildings, including classroom, safety and security, technology infrastructure, and operational efficiency improvements;

• acquiring and installing technology equipment in the School District;

• constructing, furnishing and equipping additions to School District buildings; and

• improving sites, including playgrounds and refurbishment of athletic fields and courts in the School District?

The estimated millage to be levied in 2013 to service this issue of bonds is 0.72 mills ($0.72 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds of this issue is 2.62 mills ($2.62 per $1,000 of taxable value). The bonds may be issued in multiple series, payable in the case of each series in not to exceed 25 years from the date of issue of such series.

(Under state law, bond proceeds may not be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries, routine maintenance costs or other School District operating expenses.)

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Hills City Clerk Pamela Smith is expecting smooth sailing, come the Aug. 6 special election for the Farmington Public Schools District.

“I think it will be very smooth,” she said. “I don’t see why there will be any issues at all.”

In a special election, Farmington-area voters will go to the polls to decide on a $222 million bond proposal from Farmington Public Schools.

According to district officials, the 1.44-mill annual tax increase will cost average homeowners approximately $7-$9 per month — or, if going by the estimated monthly average, $84-$108 per year for 25 years — and will cover the cost of upgrades to infrastructure, security, technology and learning environments.

The August election will cost the district between $65,000 and $85,000. It is an amount the district says will easily make back in savings, if the bond passes.

District officials said that if they had waited until November, there wouldn’t be enough time to go through the request for proposals process for construction work to begin construction in June 2014, and construction would be delayed for a year, which could be costly if infrastructure fixes are needed before then.

The school district covers Farmington and Farmington Hills, and a portion of West Bloomfield.

Smith said that of the more- than 60,000 registered voters in Farmington Hills, 54,602 are in the school district.

Farmington has 7,687 total registered voters in the district; West Bloomfield has 1,633 voters in the district.

Smith said she expects a 20 percent turnout, or roughly 10,000 in Farmington Hills; the City Clerk’s office issued just more than 6,600 absentee ballots.

“Sixty-four percent of those (absentee ballots) have been returned so far,” she told the Press last week. “If the polls are reflective of how the absentee ballots have been coming in, it could be around a 20 percent turnout. That is typical of the local election.”

She said usually local elections draw anywhere between 15 and roughly 20 percent of registered voters.

She said that in the last local election, November 2011, 23.5 percent of registered voters came out to the polls.

“I think right now, we are seeing that it is probably very similar to our local mayor, City Council elections,” she said of the turnout rate.

Other elections, such as a gubernatorial election, would draw a 55 percent voter turnout, she said; a presidential election would typically draw 75 percent or higher.

For information on precinct locations, go to:

For more information on where to vote in Farmington, go to:

For more information on where to vote in West Bloomfield, go to:

Residents can receive or return absentee ballots 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 3 at polling locations throughout the city.

Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. election day.

Smith added that Aug. 3 is the last day to request absentee ballots, and residents need photo identification to obtain absentee ballots — not just at the polls. They can go to the clerk’s office the Monday prior to the election for an absentee ballot until 4 p.m., where they must vote in person.

“The laws went into effect in March, that people need photo identification,” she said.

She added that weather should not make a big difference in voter turnout.

“I think people that want to go to the polls will vote, no matter if it is snowing or raining or hot,” Smith said.

For more information, call the Farmington Hills City Clerk’s Office at (248) 871- 2410.

For more information on the bond proposal, visit