Dexter ends Whitmore Lake annexation talks

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The Dexter Board of Education passed a resolution Monday evening that effectively ends talks of annexing nearby school district, Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

The resolution formally urges the state of Michigan to restructure the funding for local districts and provide financial incentives for districts who are considering annexation. The resolution also dissolved the ad hoc committee created to research the possibility of annexation.

The ad hoc committee found that the costs to annex Whitmore Lake were not feasible with Dexter’s current financial situation.

You can read the full resolution here:
[embeddoc url=”http://dexterschools.org/boardofeducation/files/2015/03/Annexation_Ad_Hoc_Resolution1.pdf” viewer=”google”]

If the state responds with an adequate funding model for Dexter to annex Whitmore Lake, the board will re-visit the issue. The Michigan House Education Appropriations committee recently voted to recommend increasing the annexation grant funding by 2 to 5 million and will head to the senate next.

Although the language of the resolution does not state it, several board members made it clear that if the state were to come up with financial assistance it wouldn’t mean a green light for annexation. Board member Richard Lundy said there would still be more hurdles to overcome before the board would decide annexation is appropriate for the district.

“The financial side is a deal breaker, but it’s not the only deal breaker,” he said.

Board member Bonnie Everdeen stressed that with the current financial climate at the state and local level, the district will have to get creative in finding appropriate funding in the coming years.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “The board five years down the road from us is going to have a much harder time balancing the budget.”

The board will meet again at 7 p.m. on April 20 at Creekside Middle School.

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4 Comments

  • As I read the Resolution, as a skeptic, I can only see the continued path forward for the Annexation process. Worth noting is the willingness to continue the process if funding is approved: the official language of the Board refers to the “educational benefits”, implying they want this to happen if the finances work out. If the Board were truly opposed to pursuing this matter they would have passed a resolution stating the issue was evaluated and found to be against the best interests of our community.

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