The Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority wants to place a recreation millage before Grand Haven Township voters on the November ballot. Despite the desire, township officials are saying “not now.”
“I think the concept is great, but it is just really bad timing,” Township Supervisor Karl French said.
The authority represents communities in the Grand Haven Area Public Schools’ district: Grand Haven city and township, Robinson Township, and Ferrysburg.
NORA officials envision a new recreation complex with outdoor sports fields, a fitness trail, indoor courts, fitness room and locker rooms.
In a 2013 Tribune article, it was reported that the authority’s annual operating budget was $300,000. This provides funds for operational expenses, staffing and programming, but not enough for major facility expenses.
NORA Coordinator Jill Vander Stel said the authority’s board will make a decision by July on whether the proposal would be placed on the fall ballot.
“If it is not on this November’s ballot, it would have to wait two more years,” she said.
Township officials say the review for the proposed millage hasn’t been sufficient in terms of justification or planning for the new property tax. The Township Board believes NORA should wait two years to allow local communities to expand both the service boundaries and services provided by any recreation authority.
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