Benton Harbor Moves Millage To May

Voters will not be deciding on the sinking fund millage for Benton Harbor Area Schools in November. The school board has voted to move that to the May primary at a special meeting last night. Board member Stephen Mitchell told our partners at WNDU NewsCenter 16 he’d rather put the question in front of voters now, rather than wait.

“I think that the district is on a positive note right now, and I think that we should capitalize on that and vote for it in November,” says Mitchell. “That is my personal preference, but I will certainly go along with my other board members.”

Mitchell adds voter turnout is higher in November than in a May primary, and he feels that would be an advantage for the school district. The sinking fund millage brings in $1.4 million a year. Superintendent Dr. Shelly Walker says the district has enough money to operate this year, and she doesn’t want to rush the renewal through. Walker says by delaying the millage vote until next spring, district officials will have time to clearly present their case to voters as to why it’s needed. The sinking fund pays for building and school zone repairs, and the superintendent calls it “critical” to the district.