FAPS sinking fund up for renewal

Caleb Markley, Writer

Fenton Area Public Schools (FAPS) has a renewal for a sinking fund millage on the ballot this election cycle. A school’s sinking fund is used to fund infrastructure projects or repairs that may occur rather than borrowing money through bank loans. This milage will levy .8707 mills for ten years and will not increase taxes. 

The funds that are collected will address the following: Safety and security improvements, classroom enhancements, athletic facility refurbishment, asphalt and roof repair/replacement, mechanical unit replacement, interior and exterior lighting upgrades and window and energy efficiency improvements. Sinking fund dollars, by law, cannot be used for teacher, administrator, or employee salaries— so all of the money is used for facility improvements. 

The milage will not affect school costs or payments (e.g., athletic costs, lunches, etc.) if passed; however, if the sinking fund is not passed, it may affect these costs.

“Because of the intent and purpose of the sinking fund, it will not impact these things if passed,” FAPS Superintendent Heidie Ciesielski said. “If the sinking fund does not pass, the district will have to figure out alternative funding to then fix the physical structures of the district, which may impact the things you mentioned.”

Although the sinking fund may only be used for eligible expenses, if passed, it will allow FAPS to utilize the funds rather than needing to find alternate methods of funding for these types of upkeep and repair projects. 

“If the sinking fund passes it allows us to keep the dollars in the general fund for instructional and program purposes,” Ciesielski said. “Having sinking fund dollars for physical repairs enables us to utilize our other revenue resources for the most important part of what we do.”

Eligible voters may vote on this issue from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. at their assigned polling location on Nov. 8. More information regarding the sinking fund renewal can be found at https://www.fentonschools.org/o/fps/page/sinking-fund-2022.