Saugatuck Voters Asked To Renew 2 Mill Levy To Maintain & Improve Roads
The City of Saugatuck will be asking voters at the November 8 General Election to renew the 2 mill levy that helps maintain and improve public roads for the next 15 years.
City engineers (Fleis & Vandenbrink) will host a public informational meeting about the road millage proposal on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m. at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, MI 49453, city officials announced during Monday’s city council meeting.
“The millage is only for roads, no parks or parking lots or anything else,” Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier told The Local Observer on Tuesday.
The millage is expected to generate $278,000 for the first year. The request is to renew the millage back to the original 2 mills ($2 in taxes per $1,000 in taxable value) voters approved back in 2001, but which expires this year.
Expiring at a 1.79 mill rate this year, the millage has been reduced through the years by the effect of the Headlee Rollback, the 1963 state of Michigan amendment requiring local unit of governments to reduce millage rates when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation.
“I can’t stress this enough—this is what our engineers are telling us—the taxpayers have invested a lot of money over the last 15 years on their roads,” noted Harrier, detailing some of the work that has been ongoing to keep the local streets in shape.
“Once you do roads, you have to keep up with maintenance, you can’t just leave them otherwise we’ll have a situation like a few years back, in 2009, with a lot of potholes and deteriorating roads,” he added.
On a related matter, the the City of Saugatuck has already gotten a head start in other aspects of its capital improvements plan.
Last month the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) awarded the city a $138,240 grant to be used for the preparation of a stormwater asset management plan.
The city is expected to contribute a local match of $15,360.
“This is not for repairs, it will go towards mapping and an assessment of the current state of our storm drain system,” said Harrier.
Consisting of catch basins and culverts that convey stormwater to natural streams and rivers, a sound storm drain system is an important component in prolonging the life of the roads and keeping them safe to drive on, noted Harrier.