By MICHELLE MERLIN
---- — ELK RAPIDS -- Voters narrowly defeated a bond proposal that would have paid for a new Elk Rapids school gymnasium, upgrades athletic facilities, and increased school security.
Voters nixed the proposed $10.88 million bond by a tally of 997 for and 1009 against, according to unofficial results.
The 0.83 mills was estimated to cost taxpayers $83 a year on a home with a taxable value of $100,000.
Elk Rapids superintendent Steve Prissel did not return calls for comment.
Some voters said they wouldn't support a tax increase while they continue to struggle financially.
“In the last 12 years I’ve been here, taxes keep going up and up and up, and our income, because of the economy, is totally stagnant,” said Rachel Bezile, an Elk Rapids resident who voted against the millage.
Elk Rapids village and township voters, as well as those in Milton Township, represented the only precincts to support the proposal; they voted 417 to 305 and 233 to 190 respectively, for the bond.
“I think the schools are very important, and Elk Rapids has a good reputation and we need to support that,” said Elk Rapids resident Beverly McCamman. “I don't have children in the system and never have, but I'm a firm believer in quality education and the safety of the children in our schools.”
The proposal lost in Torch Lake Township by one vote, with more substantial losses in Acme, Whitewater and Clearwater townships. All vote totals are unofficial as of Tuesday night and have yet to be certified.