KINDE, Mich. — It took just one day for the North Huron Board of Education to go back to the voters.
The day after the November election, in which the $8.2 million bond issue was rejected by voters, the board decided to put another bond issue on the May election ballot.
This bond will only be for $7.8 million, but it will be used for the same purposes the November bond would have been used for.
"Without a doubt the approach we tried, I think people misunderstood the one bond ending and the other bond starting," said North Huron Superintendent Martin Prout. "So we weren't asking for an extension. It's less money. The bond indebtedness is less. So we go from instead of $2.4 (million) or $2.4 and a half, we go to $2.1 or $2.0 (million), depending on how it amortizes over the 12 years."
Prout said one of the lessons he learned in November's defeat was the getting the word out on the bond.
"We need to do a better job explaining what (it's) for and to be out earlier on absentee ballots," he said. "We've got good feedback where we didn't get to the absentee voters. We didn't recognize how many votes are absentee compared to 20 years ago."
Prout said more teachers, parents and supporters will go door-to-door to better explain the need for the money.
"It's an infrastructure bond that is not a 'like to have,' it's a 'need to have' to keep the school hall safe and running efficient for the next 20 to 30 years," he said.
The amount of the bond dropped due to finding a better interest rate on the money borrowed, Prout noted.
It also dropped due to a state law that forbids a taxing district from putting the exact same issue up for a vote on consecutive elections.
"It's the same amount of project work. That's intact," he said.
Some of the big-ticket items the bond will pay for include new windows, the facade, new boilers, new heating and cooling throughout the schools, new bleachers for the football field and repairing parking lots.
"The one I think is (big) is to build a new agriculture learning lab for our K-12 ag science program," Prout said. "It's not our biggest expenditure, but it's on there."
Prout said he learned a lot from the defeat in November, in which the proposal failed 312-296, or by 16 votes.
"Humility, for one," he said. "We learned our census is so much different. We have more people that moved into Huron County who were from Huron County. There was a lower voter turnout, we were the only thing that was on that ballot, and I think that affected us. Plus we had to get the message out. Historically, I don't want to say we took it for granted, but everybody thought someone else was voting. I heard that so many times."