Fire equipment millage going before Foster Township voters
By Tim Barnum
News Editor | email@example.com
FOSTER TWP. — A 0.5-mill millage to provide the Clear Lake Fire Department with funding to purchase equipment will go before Foster Township voters Nov. 6.
The millage, if approved, would raise approximately $22,790 in its first year and be levied from 2014 to 2017.
According to Township Treasurer Betty Calvin, the millage is not technically a renewal, although it has been being levied for the past few years.
“It’s not what you would actually call a renewal. It’s similar,” she said. “We had this millage on for five years to pay for equipment, and we would like to have it go on for another four years.”
Calvin said putting the measure on the ballot this year, rather than in 2013 when it expires, will allow the township to avoid having to pay for a special election.
“If we do it now, we won’t have to have a special election,” she said.
Clear Lake Fire Department Chief Kip Burger said the fire department does not levy a separate operating millage for funding.
Township Supervisor Sandra Miller said if the millage fails, the township would be on the hook to replace equipment.
“I guess if any of their big equipment breaks down, it’s going to be a financial burden for the township,” she said. “You never know with fire department equipment, so it’d be nice to have. Plus, a lot of our equipment is getting old.”
Burger said turnout gear and SCBAs, self-contained breathing apparatuses, need to be replaced.
“The turnout gear is roughly $1,600 per person or for a set,” he said. “And the SCBAs are probably around $2,200, $2,300 apiece.”
Replacing the clothing and breathing devices would be difficult without the millage, Burger added.
“Of course, it’d be tough,” he said. “That’s about the extent of it.”
The fire equipment millage is the lone township ballot proposal for Foster Township voters.
A 0.5-mill millage means property owners are taxed 50 cents per every $1,000 of taxable value on their property. For example, a property owner with a home worth $100,000, which would have a taxable value of $50,000, would be charged $25.
Foster Township voters will vote at the township hall, located at 1968 Clear Lake Road.