Fire levy to be on ballot

The decision has been finalized, and voters will have a say on the future funding of Grand Haven Township’s fire department.
Alex Doty
May 8, 2014


A request for a 1.9-mill operating/capital millage will be put on the Aug. 5 ballot. If approved, the levy would be in place for eight years.

The Township Board this week unanimously approved putting the measure before voters.

Township Clerk Sue Buitenhuis said the millage proposal includes aspects that would ensure funding for both daily operations and larger expenses for the Fire/Rescue Department.

“The resolution included language specifying a certain percent was for operating and a certain percent was for capital, so that the board's full intentions are communicated to any future board,” she said.  “(We) wanted to make it clear of the intent to reserve part for capital expenditure.”

The township decided to go the route of the property tax millage after public opposition to a proposed special assessment several weeks ago.

“It’s going to be 2 percent higher than what would be collected before,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said, “but the money going to the fire department will be the same.”

There are several differences between an assessment levy and a property tax.

One is that a property tax is “captured” by tax increment finance districts — such as a Downtown Development Authority — while a levy is not. A property tax is also subject to the township’s 1 percent Tax Administrative Fee, while a levy is not.

“That 2 percent difference wasn’t as important as the ability to vote,” Cargo said.

Despite the difference in amounts, Cargo noted that the money going to the fire department would be the same as if a levy were passed — just over $1 million for daily operations and a little more than $100,000 for capital needs.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



The day after the school's get $62 million for Grand haven, ($17,000,000. in continued taxes $ $45,000,000. In new taxes) the Grand haven township ask's for more money.

Harry Kovaire

Government employees used to be "public servants" - now you are. Pay up.


"its going to be 2 % higher,but the fire dept. will get the same" Sooo what the the heck does this mean to the tax payer? Does this include the up to 10% overage as noted in the levy discussion?


What I don't understand is why the TWP would not have play it safe with only a renewal mileage of the present 1.5% mileage instead of trying to increase the mileage. with 2.0 % additional and another 2.0% administrative cost for collecting the mileage... does not make sense... But I will be voting against any mileage increase for GH TWP until they prove they need the additional cash and where it will be spent. GH TWP is going to collect an additional $100,000.00 for equipment per year.. which we know will be be used for other things until a new truck is needed. And I forgot about the additional .07% they are already collecting for the new fire truck the just purchased.

It's time for the public to put their foot down and send a message to Cargo and the board on the wasteful spending that has been going on for years. Trustee Cal Meeusen is a CPA he certainly understands budgets and wasteful sending. I hoping that these other board members are going to start running the board instead of Mr Cargo. People Mr Cargo is threatening if this mileage does not pass then we won't have a fire department. I don;t believe for one minute that will happen... Mr. Cargo talks circles around the board... He call them the policy makers... If that is the case then start running the board and stop asking Cargo for advise.


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