Presque Isle County voters approved every millage proposal on Tuesday's primary election ballot, including fire and ambulance operating millages, and a county-wide millage to fund a police dog, K-9 officer and school resource officers.
An incumbent county commissioner also beat his challenger in a Democratic primary. Robert Schell, county commissioner for District 1, won over Wayne Vermilya with 118 votes to 63.
Voters approved levying up to three-tenths of a mill to pay for the costs of keeping Trigger, a police dog recently obtained by Presque Isle County Sheriff Department. It also would fund training and wages for the deputy who handles and boards the dog, as well as two school resource officers. The SROs and police dog both serve as a liaison between the public and the department, and Trigger is capable of drug interdiction and tracking fugitives.
The millage was approved 994-821.
The four-year millage is similar to one previously approved by voters, with one exception. Unlike the previous millage, it omits funding for a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement team that operates in Northeast Michigan. Presque Isle County taxpayers will no longer fund Huron Undercover Narcotics Team's operations in their county, but will pay for Trigger and his handler instead.
Posen Consolidated Schools also will benefit from two voter-approved proposals. Each one concerns splitting one mill currently levied to pay off a bond issue used to add on to the school building in the mid-1990s. The two proposals would take the revenue from this one mill and split it evenly between a bond issue and a building sinking fund. The new bond issue would be used to pay for buses and classroom technology, and the sinking fund would be used to pay for building repairs and maintenance, as well as other physical plant upgrades.
The two proposals will not raise taxes on district residents, and the millage will expire in 10 years when the original bond issue does.
Voters within the school district approved the sinking fund 191 to 158, and the bond proposal 184 to 166.
Two fire department authorities and an ambulance authority had millages renewed. Rogers City Area Fire Department Authority's was presented as a new millage because the department added language to fund a first responders unit to the ballot. The Posen Area Fire Department Authority and Rogers City Area Ambulance Authority were the other two to have operating millages renewed.
All three millages levy up to one mill on residents of the townships in which they operate for varying lengths of time. Voters approved the Rogers City fire authority operating millage 493 to 192, the ambulance authority millage 831 to 413 and the Posen fire authority millage 255 to 143.
Metz Township will levy up to one mill for four years to fund road maintenance. Voters approved the proposal 28 to 17.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.