October 20, 2014

Road millage on Arenac Township ballot

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com

Posted

ARENAC TWP. — Arenac Township has a 1-mill, three-year millage placed on the Nov. 6 election ballot to raise funds for road maintenance and repair.

The millage previously appeared on the August primary election ballot, but failed 81-76. Clerk Cindy Halamar said the fact the vote was so close prompted the township board to try again.

“It was really close to passing, so we thought we would put it on again and see what happens,” Halamar said. “Most townships operate on a millage for roads, but we’re not in a position to do that.”

The millage would be in effect from 2012-2015, and would raise an estimated $23,656 per year. Halamar said money spent on road projects could also get matched by the Arenac County Road Commission up to a $25,000 limit. The road commission itself would do road work funded by the township.

Halamar noted in July that the rising cost of materials means that $23,656 would not go as far for road work as it used to, but the township could save the funds between years for major undertakings that could not be handled in one year.

Millage amounts are determined by the taxable value of property; 1 mill is the equivalent of $1 for each $1,000 of taxable value.

Halamar said the township’s highest-priority roads to work on are Wolfe Road between Conrad Road and US-23, Hagley Road between Sterling and Washington roads, and Hansel Road between Conrad and Hickory Island roads.

Halamar said the township separately applied for 2-percent gaming revenue grants from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for all three road projects, but there is no guarantee the township will get funding.

If the millage fails, Halamar admitted she does not know what the township will do to keep roads in decent shape.

“I don’t know what we would do,” Halamar said. “We would keep applying for road funds in the 2-percent requests.”

Since grant applications are not something that can be counted on, however, the township has been limited in what it can work on.

Halamar told the Independent in July the township board reviews the roads within the township with the Arenac County Road Commission every spring to determine what condition they are in, and to see which ones are the highest priority for work.

However, since the township is still recuperating from a $35,000 reappraisal by the state a few years ago, she said they have been unable to work on the roads to the extent that is necessary.

The millage proposal will appear only on Arenac Township’s ballot.

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