Parks/rec. millage proposal headed for Nov. ballot

A millage request to continue funding the Oxford Township Parks and Recreation Department is headed for the November general election.

Last week, the township board voted 7-0 to move forward with placing a 15-year, 1-mill request on the ballot.

Oxford resident Maddock Henery, 8, builds a sandcastle on the beach at Stony Lake Twp. Park, one of four township parks that relies on the parks/rec. operating millage to keep it open and running. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
Oxford resident Maddock Henery, 8, builds a sandcastle on the beach at Stony Lake Twp. Park, one of four township parks that relies on the parks/rec. operating millage to keep it open and running. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.

One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value.

“Our current millage expires in 2019, but we’re not going to roll the dice, so we want to do it in 2018 (to) give us a buffer (in case it fails and needs to go back on the ballot),” said Ron Davis, who’s been the parks and rec. director since 1995.

The request will be a renewal with a slight increase attached. The current rate is 0.8295 mills and, according to township Treasurer Joe Ferrari, the tax is expected to roll back to 0.8234 mills for the December levy due to the Headlee Amendment.

“We’re not talking a lot of (additional) money, but it would certainly help (with) some other things that we’d like to do or just continue to maintain what we have,” Davis said.

“In the 23 years I’ve been here, I’ve never asked (for) more than what we need. I’m not one to charge more than what we need,” the director noted.

Township Supervisor Bill Dunn favored requesting a slight increase based on the parks and recreation department’s solid track record and potential future needs.

“Personally, I think you’ve done such a great job with parks and rec. and the amenities that we now have,” he told Davis.

Dunn felt the department should have a little extra cash in its annual budget given it’s planning to construct and operate a 3,034-square-foot senior center in Seymour Lake Township Park.

“I think it’s important for you to be financially able to maintain (it),” said Dunn, who firmly believes the center is something the community needs because “we’re lacking senior activities.”

Last month, the township board voted unanimously to give the parks and recreation department $300,000 from of its general fund’s fund balance to assist in the construction of a senior center.

The parks and recreation department has pledged to contribute $100,000 to the project. Davis believes the center can be built for $400,000 or less.

Davis noted he and his department always “try to be creative” when it comes to collaborating with others, forging partnerships and doing things in-house, all in an effort to “keep our costs down.”

“I think we’re pretty fiscally responsible,” he said.

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