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Voters in several Metro Detroit school districts approved bond issues for building upgrades Tuesday, while a marijuana initiative was soundly defeated in Royal Oak Township amid accusations of election law violations.

The marijuana proposal on the ballot in Royal Oak Township generated controversy, with supporters accusing elected township officials of violating election laws. The question, Proposal 1 was overwhelmingly rejected, with 70.6% voting no.

Proposal 1 would have authorized an unlimited number of marijuana-related businesses on parcels with the township that are larger than five acres and have been continuously unoccupied for at least five years.

In a news release Tuesday, former state Sen. Virgil Smith, a spokesman for the group Invest in Royal Oak Township, said the township failed to post the proposal on its website. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the website did not list the marijuana issue but did include a notice of the township's request for a 4.5-mill levy renewal also on Tuesday's ballot.

The group also says the township failed to post the ballot language for the marijuana initiative at polling places and alleges officials violated state election law by distributing lawn signs and flyers opposing the proposal without disclosing the funding source for the campaign.

Shawn Starkey, a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State, said the department received two complaints Tuesday from Invest in Royal Oak Township. "They are under review," Starkey said in an email.

Township officials have not responded to phone or email messages from The News regarding the ballot issue, including on Tuesday.

Township voters did approve the other proposal on their ballot, a 4.5-mill renewal for operations, which received a 57.3% yes vote. The levy is expected to cost the owner of a property with a taxable value of $50,000 $225 annually.

In the largest of the money proposals in Metro Detroit, voters approved a $316 million bond issue for Walled Lake Consolidated Schools to replace a 91-year-old elementary school and make other facility improvements. The issue passed with 69.1% voting yes.

Dublin Elementary School, the district's oldest, will be replaced with a new building. Projects planned at other buildings include new heating and ventilation systems, roof and window replacements, lighting upgrades, restroom and locker room renovations, and parking lot and sidewalk repairs. 

The annual debt millage required to retire all outstanding bonds, including that proposed on the ballot, is expected to be about 4.13 mills, meaning the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000 can expect to pay about $206 a year.

In the Huron School District, voters approved a $49.1 million, 30-year bond issue to build a preschool/kindergarten center and make security improvements and renovations at Miller and Brown elementary schools, Renton Junior High School and Huron High School. District officials said passage of the bond wouldn't result in a millage increase.

The Fitzgerald schools' $47.7 million, 20-year bond issue received a 56.5% yes vote with all three precincts reporting. Passage will allow the Macomb County district to remodel classroom buildings, including energy, safety and technology upgrades, and buy school buses.

Another Macomb County district, New Haven Community Schools, appeared to have won narrow passage — by 10 votes — of a $25 million, 25-year bond issue for classroom renovations, technology upgrades, recreational facility improvements and bus purchases. According to school officials, the proposal would raise the tax rate by 0.9 mills. That would mean a $45 annual cost for the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000.

The district says the bond issue will raise the tax rate by 2.9 mills. That  translates to $145 a year for the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000.

In the Lincoln Park Public Schools, the district's $60.9 million, 30-year bond issue  narrowly passed by 22 votes — 1,029 to 1,007 — according to final, unofficial results.

The Wayne County district hopes to use the bond proceeds to remodel classroom buildings, including energy and security upgrades, and improving sidewalks, parking lots and lighting. According to the district, the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000 would pay $94.50 a year.

In the Huron School District, voters approved a $49.1 million, 30-year bond issue to build a preschool/kindergarten center and make security improvements and renovations at Miller and Brown elementary schools, Renton Junior High School and Huron High School. District officials said passage of the bond wouldn't result in a millage increase.

In Clawson, the district's 18-mill, 10-year levy on non-homestead property passed with 84% voting yes. Commercial or industrial property owners with a state equalized value of $50,000 will pay about $900 a year under the tax, which will raise an estimated $1.9 million in 2019 for operations.

In Oak Park, the district's 20-year renewal of a 17.8508-mill operating levy on non-homestead taxable property passed with 75.8% voting yes. The renewal will raise an estimated $3.8 million in revenue for the school district in its first year.

In Wyandotte, residents approved a city charter amendment authorizing a 3-mill, five--year property tax for operations, with 62.6% voting yes. The millage will raise about $1.62 million in 2019 and cost the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000 about $150 a year.

Not all of the money issues on the ballot found favor with the region's voters. In Woodhaven, 54.5% of voters rejected a $12.2 million, 25-year bond issue to pay the city’s share of the cost to construct a railroad overpass bridge at Van Horn Road. 

In Highland Park, voters approved adoption of a proposed city charter drafted by the Charter Commission, with 52.1% voting yes.

While voter turnout is traditionally low in May elections, local clerks said they expected small increases because of changes in election laws.

Passage of Proposal 3 in November allows voters to both register and vote up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

According to the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, turnout was 11.8%. In Wayne County, the clerk’s office reported turnout of 13.4% and in Macomb County, 12.2%

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