LAPEER — Lapeer Community Schools on Nov. 5 is asking district residents for their support to pass a $94.9-million bond proposal to restructure, right-size and upgrade the district to serve this generation and the next.
On Monday, the LCS objective earned the support of the Lapeer City Commission and administration when it unanimously approved a resolution backing the plan — including from a commissioner who by his own admittance doesn’t normally support millage increases.
Commissioner A. Wayne Bennett commented, “It is in the best interest of the city (LCS bond proposal), because as an old Realtor I know one of the first questions people ask when looking for a house is ‘how are the schools?’”
LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie was recently before the City Commission to explain the bond proposal. He’s making the rounds to speak with municipal officials and any civic or non-profit organization that will have him as he works to get the word out and drum-up support for the district’s plan. On Monday, the City Commission was openly receptive to the proposal that would have the district issue general obligation unlimited tax bonds for not more than 25 years.
Commissioner Joshua Atwood attributed passage of the bond as a long-term commitment enhance the quality of life for Lapeer residents and the community the district serves. “I see it is as more of an investment for our community. It’s something that we can all do to move our community forward.”
The sentiment was shared by Commissioner Catherine Bostick- Tullius who said, “Glad we came together with a unified voice to support our educational system.”
The LCS November bond proposal calls for construction of a new high school on the same foundation as the current Center for Innovation (formerly Lapeer West), as well as to remodel, re-equip, refurnish school buildings and other facilities and convert the current high school building on Saginaw Street to a lower elementary campus. In addition, the LCS bond proposal, if passed, would allow the district to acquire and install instructional technology infrastructure and equipment in school buildings as well as prepare, develop and improve sites at school buildings, playgrounds and other facilities which include parking lot improvements and to make renovations to the bus garage and replace school buses.
City attorney Mike Nolan, who also is vice president on the LCS Board of Education, commented “Tonight I put on my school board hat. You stepped out of your comfort zone and supported something that’s unusual for you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
Commissioner Debbie Marquardt said, “It needs to be done. Whatever I can do I’m going to do (to support the bond proposal).”
City Manager Dale Kerbyson added, “I really like what the Commission has done,” and indicated he will be an active supporter of the LCS proposal.
Mayor Glenn Alverson supported the resolution as well, and along with the Commission urged Lapeer residents to vote in favor of the proposal on Nov. 5 “to ensure quality education and a quality leaning environment for future generations.”
In other business:
• Kerbyson announced he is traveling to Washington, D.C. this week on behalf of the Next Michigan Development Corporation to lobby Congressman Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden Township and other federal lawmakers who represent districts along the I-69 corridor from Canada to Mexico. As a board member of the Next Michigan Development Corporation/I-69 International Trade Corridor, the mission of the group and the trip to Washington is to secure resources to improve infrastructure to facilitate open trade and enhance business investment in Lapeer and the corridor.
• The Commission approved a request from St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church to hold an Octoberfest community social event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 on church property at 90 Millville Road. The event will include sale of alcoholic beverages, contingent on Michigan Liquor Control Commission of a temporary license.
• The Commission granted a special event quest sought by the Lapeer Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to hold its Fourth Annual Zombie Walk and inaugural Hearse Festival from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 to coincide with the Lapeer Optimist Club’s Nightmare on Nepessing (see page 2B). Zombie Walk is designed to bring people downtown to partake in a scavenger hunt in businesses.
The new Hearse Festival, says DDA Executive Director Jim Alt, is similar to the Monday night Lapeer Car Cruise in format with hearses to park along Nepessing Street between Mason and Cedar streets.
• The Kiwanis Club of Lapeer was granted permission to conduct its annual benefit Cider Sales at the intersections of Nepessing and Court, Nepessing and Saginaw, Nepessing and Pine and the sidewalk area by the Lapeer Post Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 17-18.
• The Lapeer DDA was also granted approval to conduct its annual Treat Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 that allows children and parents the opportunity for a daytime trick-or-treat activity throughout the downtown business district.