Standish to put police millage up in November

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The Standish City Council agreed to try again for a police millage with the upcoming November election at its meeting Monday, April 16.

The council wanted two mills dedicated to police protection last November, but due to a decrease in property tax value it would raise an estimated $74,000 per year if the same amount were asked for again this year, according to Mayor Mark Winslow.

Last year, the amount raised at 2 mills would have been around $78,000, and Winslow said the city would need to decide whether or not to stick with a 2-mill request or decide on a different level. Those funds would go toward hiring a second police officer for the city, and get other police equipment.

“Another full-time officer would not hurt us,” Councilman Doug Ireland said.

Currently the city does not collect money on a separate account to finance the police department; the funding comes from the city’s general fund.

The millage proposal was voted down last November in the off-year election by 16 votes, but Winslow said the consensus among council members was to put it up again this year to take advantage of the heavier turnout associated with the presidential election.

The council also hopes to use the extra time to better explain what they want to accomplish with the additional funding. Councilman Jerry Nelson told the Independent in November the primary reason he believed the millage failed was because the city did a poor job informing people about it.

“We didn’t have a lot of time this time around to try and get people informed,” Nelson said in November. “We’ll try harder next time to get people educated.”

Since the city is not opting to put the millage on the August ballot, the council did not need to act on the millage proposal at its April 16 meeting. City Clerk and Treasurer Peggy Burtch said the council had until the end of August to submit a ballot proposal to the county clerk for the November ballot, so the finalized proposal would probably not be discussed until July or August.

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