MUSKEGON – The Reeths-Puffer School District has delayed a bond request that was intended to be placed on the May 5 ballot.

The district originally planned on making a request that residents vote to approve a tax bond for $21,250,000. The money would have been used to pay for improvements around the districts.

The improvements would have included:

• Remodeling, acquiring, installing, equipping and re-equipping school facilities.

• Remodeling, equipping and re-equipping school buildings for energy efficiency, including new roofing and HVAC.

• Acquiring, installing and equipping or re-equipping school buildings for instructional technology, including education technology and student computers.

• Furnishing and refurnishing school facilities; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping facilities, parking lots and sites.

However, due to the uncertainty still surrounding the COVID-19 health scare, the district has decided to postpone voting.

Superintendent Steve Edwards sent out the following message to people living inside the school district, “ From the beginning, our promise to the community regarding our May, 2020 bond issue was that it would be ‘considerate, collaborative, and competitive.’ From a perspective of ‘consideration’, we vowed to be thoughtful of the infrastructure needs of the district and understanding of the realities of our taxpayers, simultaneously.

“We want people to understand the needs of the district, but we also want people to make an informed decision. The current state of affairs, in my opinion, puts people in a position of having to make a decision about their support of this issue, while also considering the impact to their own families relative to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). To ask people to consider the infrastructure needs of the district, while also under pressure at work, at home, and in the community, is not a position in which we want to place any person.

“For that reason, I will be asking the Board to delay the request for a bond issue for our district. From a ‘considerate’ perspective, it is just not the right time with all of the uncertainty for our families. We remain committed to ensuring exemplary facilities for our kids… and in the meantime, we will continue to work toward that end during this uncertain and challenging time without asking the voters for their support.”

According to the language of the bond proposal 1.95 mills ($1.95 per $1,000 of taxable value) would have been levied to pay for the bond. This would last for 25-years, but the district did not expect to borrow from the state to pay debt service on the bond.