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April 25, 2018 6:18 am

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Saugatuck City Officials To Ask Taxpayers To Renew Current Road Millage For Projects To Run From 2017-2031


        The City of Saugatuck will ask the local electorate on November 8 for a renewal of the current road millage, which expires next summer, following the July 1, 2016 tax levy.  
        The city council approved the ballot language for the 2 milll, 15-year request (2017 through 2031) during Monday night’s council meeting.
        The road tax is expected to generate an estimated $278,000 in the first year.
        With the assistance of the city’s engineer Fleis & Vandenbrink, municipal officials have identified priority street projects for the next eight years.
        The projects being targeted for 2017, for example, includes spot repairs and slurry seal at Perryman Street; general crack sealing on  recently improved roads, including the intersection of Spear and Holland streets; and the development of a stormwater asset management plan (SAW grant).    
        “Obviously, the road tax will not cover all the road improvements we will need in the future, but a lot of the revenue generated from it will go towards the projects identified in the capital improvements plan,” Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier told The Local Observer on Wednesday.    
        That capital improvement plan was presented to the Saugatuck City Council at Monday’s meeting.   
        “This dedicated millage is critical in order to continue to repair, maintain and renovate the roads in the city.  The city council authorized the city’s legal counsel (Bloom, Sluggett & Morgan) to prepare the attached ballot language for the November 2, 2016 election,” states a memo, dated May 23, from Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier to council about the subject.
        “This will not go into  effect until the summer bill of 2017—a year from now,” Saugatuck City Treasurer Peter Stanislawski told The Local Observer Tuesday about the issue.
        Beyond 2017, other projects the Fleis & Vandenbrink capital improvements plan identifies, among others, includes Allegan Street, fixing the slope deterioration (Lake to Elizabeth streets); Newman Street by paving the existing gravel road with valley gutter and storm sewer; and the Mt. Baldhead parking lot expansion and paving, pavilion removal, restroom improvements and picnic area improvements.
        Saugatuck city voters approved the current extra voted millage of 2 milll for 15 years (2002-2016, inclusive) on November 6, 2001. However, the two-mill road millage was reduced by the Headlee rollback to 1.7974 mills in 2016.
        The Headlee Amendment of 1978 requires a local unit of government to reduce its millage or “roll back” tax rates when annual growth of existing property is greater than the rate of inflation, explained Stanislawski.  
        “The Headlee roll back has kept (the tax rate) under control the last 10 years,” he said.
        The city wishes to renew the current 1.7974 mills to the original voted 2 mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable value), signifying a minor increase of 0.2026 mills.

Saugatuck City Officials To Ask Taxpayers To Renew Current Road Millage For Projects To Run From 2017-2031

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