River Valley millage renewals on February 27 ballot


River Valley Public Schools will have a couple of questions for voters on February 27.

Superintendent Dave Campbell tells us they’re seeking the renewal of both the operating millage and the sinking fund millage. He notes the district is especially dependent on the operating millage because it’s the majority of the funding.

“This basically operates the school district,” Campbell said. “River Valley is one of the few districts in the state that has such a high taxable value because of the miles and miles of lake property on Lake Michigan that the 18 mills we get generates more money. So, we don’t get state money, and this millage basically operates the school district.”

Campbell says with very little state money, the operating millage is critical. It’s 18 mills on non-homestead property, meaning it doesn’t affect primary residences. It generates about $10.5 million per year and the district is seeking an eight-year renewal.

Meanwhile, Campbell says the sinking fund millage was approved by voters in 2018 to cover building expenses.

“It goes to pay for things like roof replacements, floor replacements, parking lots. It’s basically to take care of the facilities that you have. And that’s a very important funding source for it as well.”

The sinking fund millage was originally 0.75 mills, but has since gone down to 0.7335 mills, and the district is seeking a six-year renewal of that.

Campbell is planning to hold a series of meetings with residents ahead of the February 27 vote to explain the importance of the millages. He’s speaking at various locations throughout the district as well as at the River Valley Middle and High School Library on February 21 at 7 p.m.