The Township Board on Monday unanimously approved $400,000 from the township’s general fund to go toward the purchase of a $725,000, 75-foot “quint” fire apparatus. Board members Bill Kieft, Laurie Larsen and Bob Worthington were not present for the roll-call vote.
“It’s a piece of important equipment,” Township Trustee Tom Jenkins said during the meeting.
Township Manager Bill Cargo said he had received some questions about funding for previous fire trucks purchased in the township. The past two trucks were purchased with money in the Fire/Rescue Department’s fund balance. However, they are unable to do that now because there has not been an increase in the Fire/Rescue fund due to the recession, Cargo said.
“That’s why we’re looking for support from the general fund,” Cargo said. “There are 11 different funds in the township … the general fund is able to support those other funds.”
After the board approved the fire truck funds, Kenneth Hoexum of Spring Lake Township raised concerns of federal and state taxes becoming a burden on citizens throughout the country. He inquired about how many fires the township fights each year, what the urgency is in purchasing the quint, and asked officials if they could defer the purchase of the truck.
“It’s just the burden of taxation that is being imposed on all citizens in the country today,” Hoexum said after the meeting. “And if we don’t stop it, our country isn’t going to be here anymore.”
The Grand Haven Township Fire/Rescue Department fights about 36 fires a year, according to Fire Chief Tom Gerencer.
There are two millage options that the board will be considering to cover the remaining $325,000 for the quint: a one-year, 0.62 mill that would cost taxpayers with a $100,000 home $31; or a two-year, 0.31 mill that would cost taxpayers $15.50 each year.
Cargo said the next step is for board members to decide on a millage option and adopt a ballot proposal for the Aug. 7 election. That is expected in May, Cargo said.
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