February 8, 2016

Arenac County commissioners vote to put two millages back on November ballot.


ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County commissioners voted Tuesday, Aug. 17, to put the county fixed millage and the county parks millage on the November ballot, after both were voted down in the Aug. 3 primary.

“The board unanimously approved to put both millages on the ballot,” District 3 Commissioner Michael Snyder said.

Snyder said the county’s need is significant enough that the commissioners decided to make the effort to clarify questions for the public.

Snyder said the millage will continue to operate at 4.9176 mills instead of the purposed 5.2 mills, and Arenac County Treasurer Dennis Stawowy said the county will have approximately $160,000 less revenue to operate without the millage.

Without the additional mills, Stawowy said cuts would have to be made.

“People who need services will have to wait longer, and some operations may be open only on certain days,” he said.

Stawowy said the cost for a person with a $100,000 house would be around $14 a year.

Chairman Raymond Daniels said the board has to do everything it can for its employees.

“We decided, let’s do it. It does not cost us anything to put (the millages) on the ballot,” he said. “The amount of money taxpayers pay is very minimal,” he said. “But if you include the entire county, it adds up.”

Snyder said that $190,000 was cut from this year’s budget.

“We can not make that kind of cut again,” he said. “The money is just not there. We cannot make up this deficit with paper clips and ballpoint pens.”

Snyder said money from the fixed millage affects the townships as well. He added that the intermediate school district receives 0.2 mills.

“Some areas are affected more than others,” Snyder said.

The parks millage will also receive a second chance.

“Parks are important to us,” Snyder said. “They draw people to the area.”

The parks millage was for one-tenth of a mill and could raise $50,000. Stawowy said for a person with a $100,000 home, the millage would cost $5 a year.

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