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Martin Twp. to place fire dept. millage on ballot in May

Martin Township plans to join three other local municipalities in having a special election in May.

The Township Board Wednesday evening voted to place a 0.9-mill request for eight years for purchasing fire department equipment.

Fire Chief John Schipper said the department currently is paying for a new rescue truck purchased last fall, but needs for other equipment are almost certain to appear sooner rather than later.

The department now gets one mill per year, which amounts to more than $78,000, and the new rescue vehicle will take up most of that expense for a long time. Nine-tenths of a mill would provide the department with an additional $72,000 annually to take care of expenses and handle future equipment needs.

“Anything we can do have a head start (on handling expenses) for the fire department is a good thing,” said Supervisor Glenn Leep.

Clerk Carrie Coburn said she must submit the request and its wording that will appear on the ballot to the Allegan County Clerk’s office by Feb. 10. Therefore, the Township Board will have a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, to approve the wording and officially have it submitted  for placement on the Tuesday, May 5, election ballot.

The May 5 election will take place because the Michigan Legislature last month failed to come up with a plan to pay to fix, maintain and construct roads, opting instead for leaving the question up to voters. One the ballot statewide will be a proposal to increase the state’s 6 percent sales tax to 7 cents on the dollar to fund road improvements.

Since the news was reported, Dorr Township has indicated it will seek a road millage, Hopkins Public Schools will place an 18-mill renewal of the non-homestead millage and the City of Wayland is interested in having voters decide on whether to continue to have eight different companies pick up trash within the city limits or have the service go to just one, the lowest bidder.

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