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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/31/12
Three townships to
vote on police millages
by CHRIS GRAYVoters in three local townships will determine whether additional police protection is worth raising taxes.
Observer Staff Writer
The townships of Armada, Ray and Richmond are all proposing tax increases on the Nov. 6 ballot to fund police protection in northern Macomb County.
Ray Township is proposing a 1 mill increase that would collect $175,000 in its first year of four. Supervisor Charlie Bohm said his board hasn't taken a position on the millage, but said if it did pass it would take a "big burden" off of the board.
"It looks like we would have the authority to provide police protection even though it'd be too much to do out of our regular budget," he said. "In this particular case, we're leaving it up to the residents."
The township is currently covered by the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, but budget constraints can only allow for the department to respond to emergency situations. The township receives assistance from the Michigan State Police as well.
Bohm said the millage would allow for the township to have a dedicated officer, meaning residents would not need to drive to Mount Clemens to report a crime.
The sheriff's office calculates the cost of one deputy at $136,000, which includes salary and benefits, vehicle costs and other services like K-9s and detectives.
"We would get 40 hours of police service," Bohm said.
Ray Township decided against listing the Macomb County Sheriff's Office in the proposal. Bohm said this gives the township the freedom to hire any agency.
"If we do a future inter-governmental agreement, we would have the freedom of hiring not only the sheriff's office, but any other entity," he said.
Bohm said when the township held an informational meeting earlier this month regarding the millage, only 30 residents showed up.
"Outside of the meeting we held, we've heard very little in the way of pros or cons," he said.
In Armada Township, voters will choose whether to accept a 1.5 mill increase to fund police protection with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. The millage, if passed, would raise $232,255 in its first year.
Richmond Township is also proposing a four-year police protection millage. The proposal asks for up to 2 mills that would collect $265,000 in its first year. The township precluded mentioning the sheriff's office in the proposal.
Bruce Township proposed a similar millage in February, asking for up to 2 mills to collect up to $588,000 to contract with the sheriff's office. The proposal failed with 1,416 "no" votes to 471 "yes" votes.