MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Election day is coming up on May 3, 2022. On the ballot are a few measures across the Upper Peninsula. One of the items voters will decide is whether or not to renew Marquette Area Public School’s (MAPS) sinking fund. We spoke with MAPS Superintendent Zack Sedgwick about what it would mean for the school and for you.

What is a sinking fund?

“A sinking fund is a yearly tax levy from our tax payersthat goes twords the construction or repair of our buldings,” said Sedgwick.

Sedgwick says that General Fund dollars will be better spent on educational programming, student support services, supplies and teacher salaries rather than infrastructure repairs and facility maintenance.

“The sinking fund allows us to not only pay for construction or repair, but perhaps as importantly, it frees up our general fund to to get creative our programming. Things to address student achievement. In light of Covid 19the impact of Covid 19on the academic, social, and emotional learning of our students,” added Sedgwick.

With a footprint of over 700,000 square feet, maintaining that infrastructure is no small task. For example, Graveraet school’s parking lot, sinking fund dollars would be used for repairs, leaving money in the general fund free to pay for programs that directly affect their student’s educational, social, and emotional needs.

And if it doesn’t pass?

“So the general fund would then be responsible for maintaining our infrastructure in addition to everything else that is required to keep our district going, and ultimately it would impact our students, impact our staff and our students, and our community,” said Sedgwick.

If approved, the sinking fund would involve no new taxes, and cost home owners on average around $49 dollars per $100,000 in home value.