November 25, 2014

Standish hopes to improve police coverage with millage

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com

Posted

STANDISH — The city of Standish is hoping to improve its police coverage with a millage proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The 2-mill proposal would raise an estimated $77,000 a year for two years, 2013 and 2014. City Manager Curt Hillman said it would supplement the existing funding coming to the police department from the city’s general fund, rather than replacing it.

“We feel the community needs the additional police protection, but with our current funds we can’t do it,” Hillman said. “With the additional funds from the millage, we could bring on another person to increase coverage for the community and add more visibility for our officers.”

Millage amounts are determined by the taxable value of property; 1 mill is the equivalent of $1 for each $1,000 of taxable value. Hillman said a typical home with a taxable value of $40,000 would pay $80 per year for the additional police coverage.

Currently the city only employs one police officer, Chief Mark Christian. Hillman said the countywide police reports indicate that there have been a number of service calls within the city answered by outside entities, such as the Michigan State Police or the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department, simply because the city did not have anyone on duty at the time.

Hillman said while Christian is on duty at peak hours, a second officer could help cover the rest of the time.

The millage would also help provide equipment for the new officer if necessary, such as a uniform and a bullet-proof vest, Hillman said, assuming any of the city’s existing supplies would not fit.

“We won’t know for sure until we find that person,” Hillman said.

If the millage fails, Hillman said the city would continue doing what it is doing now, covering part of the day with Christian and relying on other entities to handle service calls the rest of the time.

The millage only appears on the city of Standish’s ballot.

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