Questions on Farwell Bond Issue

October 28, 2019

Dear Editor
As a concerned voter, grandmother of four Farwell Area School children, and supporter of a quality education for our students, I feel the need to voice my opinion on this bond proposal for Farwell Area Schools. I am really questioning some of the details and making an investment in something that we do not know is even viable. Are we looking at what is best for our kids?

We all know the facts with the declining enrollment in the state of Michigan, including Farwell Area Schools which has dropped over 600 students or 65 percent since 2002.

Nonetheless, there are so many unanswered questions. For example, in the paper recently, a writer questioned the costs of connecting natural gas lines with furnace upgrades for our bus garage. There appeared to be a huge discrepancy between actual and estimated upgrades for the bus garage of approximately $90,000 more than actual costs. One has to ask, are there more cost discrepancies?

More importantly, I hear the elementary is going to be completely demolished and rebuilt, but the bond proposal continues to advertise so-called renovations. I have attended meetings and seen with my own eyes that the wing will be completely demolished and rebuilt. Why do we need to rebuild and provide classrooms when our population has decreased so drastically?

Are we asking people to spend money with no solid plan for the future? How will we support this in the future? Worse yet, we are asking the next generation of tax payers, our kids today, to pay for this proposal over the next 20 years. I hate to pass this on to our future generations, especially with no long term planning for stability and enrollment. Additionally, meetings prior to the bond issue being adopted by the Board of Education were not well advertised. People are complaining they had no input because they didn’t know about the meetings.

I also read that the construction company will now be charging a much higher fee for their services. Why would the fee amount increase?

Shirley Fernbach
Concerned Voter with Questions

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