Committee recommends twp seek millages

ALPENA — The Alpena Township Board of Trustees approved recommendations from the fire committee for millages to be put on the upcoming August primary and November election.

The fire committee, along with Chief Dave Robbins, looked for board approval for ballot language to be taken to the township attorneys and prepared for the August primary and the November election. For the August primary, the millage would be a renewal of fire department operations at 1.5 mils and for the November election, the millage would be an apparatus and equipment millage of five years at 0.65 mils per year.

“What we’re looking for initially is the August primary and going for the renewal,” Nathan Thomson, township trustee and fire committee chair, said. “We’re going to go for 1.5 mils because the language allows us to go for another 0.5 of a mil, so that would be 1.5 for the renewal of operations opposed to the one mil we are receiving right now.”

The renewal of fire department operations would be for 10 years.

The fire committee also recommended 0.65 mil for apparatus and equipment for a term of five years on the November election ballot.

“What that would include is the purchase of two new fire apparatus and an ambulance,” Thomson said. “We looked at different options throughout as far as more millage for less time, different things of that nature, but 0.65 is the exact amount for what we need for the equipment without asking for too much or not enough and I think that would set us up for many years to come.”

Thomson said the August primary would be the renewal of the 1.5 mils and if that passes, the township would ask for the 0.65 mils in the November election.

“The other thing we’re asking for is if the 1.5 mils would to fail in the election, that we have ballot language drawn up for the one mil renewal because at all cost, if we do not get the 1.5 mils, we have to get the one or there would be no fire department,” Thomson said.

Thomson said if the 1.5 mils fails in August, as long as the language is drawn up, it would give the township enough time to go back to the public for the November election for the one mil renewal. Thomson said the 0.65 mils would then be forfeited and look at that at a different time.

“It’s undeniable that we can’t go forward without at least one mil for operations,” he said.

Township attorney Tim Gulden said the law states that a ballot proposition can be the renewal of one mil and then it has to spell out the request for an additional 0.5 mils.

“Since it’s a 0.5 mil increase, you can put it all in one ballot proposal, but it has to be spelled out that it’s a renewal plus 0.5,” Gulden said.

If the 1.5 mils in August passes, it would generate $496,500 the first year and if the 0.65 mils in November passes, it would generate $215,000 the first year for a combined total of $711,500.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.