Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bond proposal and how can funds from a bond be spent?
A bond proposal is how a public school district asks its community for authorization to borrow money to pay for major capital projects that are too expensive to pay for from their operational budget or fund balance. These projects include remodeling of schools including roofing, window, boiler and heating system replacement or upgrades, water heater replacements, acquiring and installing instructional technology in school buildings; improving and equipping athletic fields and facilities, improving sites; and other capital expenses. A portion of the bond debt is repaid annually until it’s paid off. It works somewhat like a home mortgage.
Funds raised through the sale of bonds cannot be used on operational expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, school supplies, and textbooks. Bond funds must be kept separate from operating funds and must be audited by an independent auditing firm.
What is the focus of the August 3, 2021 bond proposal?
On August 3, 2021, voters in the Carson City-Crystal Area School District (CC-C) will be asked to consider a bond proposal to make improvements at both school buildings and the athletic field to update infrastructure and address critical needs.
The total amount of this bond proposal is $5.65 million. The estimated millage to be levied for the proposed bonds is 0.78 mill for a -0- ZERO mill net increase over the prior year’s levy, except for the former Palo Community School district, which will have a 0.78 mill increase over the prior year’s levy.
Why is there a millage increase for the Palo community?
Palo Community Schools was annexed to Carson City-Crystal's school district in 2016 and was not part of the tax base for the bond debt millage previously approved in Carson City-Crystal. At the time of the annexation, Palo Community Schools had no bond debt millage. Because Palo is now part of the CC-C District, they will now be included in district-wide bond votes.
Why the decision to move forward with a bond issue at this time?
With the wind turbines just coming online, now is the time to maximize the tax benefits that come along with them. By holding the election on August 3, 2021, CC-C can tap into the added tax value they bring to the district. This timing also allows CC-C to avoid increasing the debt millage rate on homeowners – with the exception of the former Palo territory, which will have a 0.78 mill increase.
Is the district bringing wind turbines into the district in this proposal?
No, the district is not installing any wind turbines in the district. Consumers Energy has built a wind farm within the district’s boundaries, which opened this year. The added taxable value from these existing wind turbines will allow the district to issue additional bonds without increasing taxpayers’ millage rate from the previous year. The reason for voting in 2021 is to maximize the amount of taxable value the community will see from the existing wind turbines.
How was this plan developed?
In 2020, CC-C hired C2AE Architects and Engineers and Granger Construction to assess and identify building infrastructure deficiencies due to the age of the schools. A thorough investigation was conducted of the PK-3 and 4-12 facilities and specific needs were identified and cataloged.
The Board of Education sub-committee on building, site and finance prioritized the list of needs and determined what were the most pressing needs to include within the August 3, 2021 bond.
On April 12, 2021, the Superintendent presented the final findings and recommendations to the full Board of Education, which supported moving forward with an August 3, 2021 bond election in the amount of $5.65 million.
Can I request a district representative to speak at a neighborhood, service club or business organization meeting?
Absolutely. Please contact John Sattler by email.
Who may I contact if I have additional questions?
John Sattler, Superintendent
989-584-3138 ext. 2025
Bond Proposal Details
What are the highlights of the bond?
The elementary school (PK-3) projects will feature remodeling to include mechanical systems, exterior window replacement and roof upgrades.
The 4th – 12th building bond enhancements include remodeling to include mechanical systems, door replacements, roof upgrades, replacement of gym bleachers and equipment that has been in place beyond its useful life. Some new instructional technology will be included as well as the reconstruction of the football field and track and partial grandstand improvements in order to meet accessibility, ADA, standards.
When would the proposed projects take place?
The following project timeline is only a projection. Dates and project order may be revised based on several factors including things such as: market conditions, student impact, weather, product availability and school calendar.
Design: August ‘21 - Spring ‘22
Construction Start: Spring ‘22
Construction Completion: Fall ‘22
What is the plan to keep facility improvement disruptions to a minimum?
The Construction Management team will work collaboratively with CC-C Schools to develop building specific site safety plans to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders are identified and addressed. This will include a clear delineation of the construction site with signage, fencing barriers and temporary walls as needed to keep separate from staff and student spaces. Work at our school buildings would be scheduled in a way that would limit interference with day-to-day operations. Construction activities generating noise and/or dust that could disrupt the educational environment will be scheduled to take place while the school is not operational.
What oversights would hold the district accountable?
If approved by voters, the district’s Architect/Engineer would design the proposed projects and prepare construction documents and specifications for the projects. Once the projects are designed, the district’s Construction Manager will assemble bid packages and public advertisements to solicit competitive bids for all work. This is required by law, as outlined in the Revised School Code. This process ensures that the district selects the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. All qualified contractors will have an opportunity to attend a pre-bid meeting to obtain additional information and project clarification. All qualified contractors will have the opportunity to participate in the competitive bid process.
How are neighboring districts addressing the aging condition of their school buildings?
Neighboring districts have experienced the same issue of continually aging buildings. Bond programs have been approved and implemented all around us, including Central Montcalm, Greenville, Lakeview and Montabella. In today’s competitive environment, districts seek every advantage to recruit and retain students.
Why is it important to attract and retain students in the district?
Public Schools in Michigan receive operating funds on a per-pupil basis. Attracting and retaining students plays a major role in keeping CC-C’s operating budget stable. The quality of our programs and facilities plays a role in both of these areas.
Can money from the bond program be used to pay for salaries and benefits?
No, that is against State law. Bond dollars cannot be used for operational expenses such as teacher, administrator or other employee salaries, facility maintenance, energy costs, or other operating costs. Bond funds must be accounted for separately from general operating funds. Bond funds are also subject to a financial audit from an independent auditor.
Please explain what bond money can cover and what it cannot:
Bond funds cannot be used for the following items:
Salaries and wages
General operating expenses and maintenance
Classroom supplies and textbooks
Bond proceeds can be used for the following items:
Construction and remodeling of facilities
Purchases of instructional technology equipment
Purchases of equipment and furniture
Would the approval of the bond proposal have any impact on our current school operation budget?
While funding from this bond proposal is independent of the district’s general fund operating budget, the bond would likely have a positive impact on the district’s general fund. It would allow the district to reallocate operating funds that are currently being spent on aging facilities, mechanical systems, and technology. The operational savings generated from energy/cost-efficient facilities could be redirected to student programs and resources.
How would I know the bond funds would be spent the way they are supposed to be spent?
Michigan law requires that expenditure of bond proceeds to be audited to verify that the proceeds were used appropriately. An audit would be completed at the end of each bond series project to ensure compliance.
What is the independent audit of bond construction funds?
Every bond construction fund is required to have an independent audit, per the Revised School Code and Michigan Department of Treasury Bulletin 7. The objective of the audit is to determine if the bond proceeds have been spent in accordance with the stated purposes for which the bonds were authorized.
The audit must be performed by an independent CPA, licensed with the Michigan State Board of Accountancy, and comply with generally accepted auditing standards as adopted by the American Institute of CPAs. A bond construction fund audit report is required after construction is completed as determined by a Certificate of Substantial Completion. This report is for the entire construction period, from the sale of the bond issue or the beginning of the project (whichever is earlier) through completion, and must include all activity in the fund for that period.
Can I deduct property taxes on my income tax return?
Property taxes may be deductible as itemized deductions on your federal income tax return if you itemize. You may also be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit on your Michigan Income Tax Return. Please consult with your tax preparer.
What is the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit?
The Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit is a method through which some taxpayers can receive a tax credit for an amount of their property tax that exceeds a certain percentage of their household income. This program establishes categories under which homeowners or renters are eligible for a Homestead Property Tax Credit. Please consult your tax provider to determine if you are eligible for this tax credit.
Where can I learn about my tax impact?
For more financial information regarding the May 4, 2021 election, please see the Your Tax Impact page.
Where is my voting location?
Precinct 1 - Carson City: Carson City and North Shade Township voters
Precinct 2 - Bloomer Township: Bloomer and Bushnell Township voters
Precinct 3 - Crystal Township: Crystal, Evergreen and Ferris Township voters
Precinct 4 - North Plains Township: North Plains, Ronald and Lebanon Township voters
Precinct 5 - New Haven Township: New Haven Township voters
If you are unsure of your precinct’s voting location, please visit the following link: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Voter/Index
Where can I find more information about voting on this proposal?
For more information regarding the August 3, 2021 election and to review ballot language, please see the Voter Info page.