City eyes utility millage

Grand Haven's efforts to fix aging public utilities and streets throughout the city could be getting a boost.
Alex Doty
Jul 16, 2013


City Council members said Monday night that they will support putting a millage proposal before voters that would add 1 mill to property tax bills. If approved, a home valued at $200,000 would pay $100 a year.

“We plan on coming back to City Council with a resolution on Aug. 5 to place this item on the (Nov. 5) ballot,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

Millage funds would be used to improve, replace and repair the storm sewer,
sanitary sewer and water systems; and streets, sidewalks, and other public utilities in the city.

"We're asking voters to consider raising taxes by 1 mill to keep the city moving forward," Councilman John Hierholzer said. "I think that is the most prudent approach."

A special task force has already met several times to come up with projects that would be funded by the millage.

“I am extremely excited about the work we did,” said Assistant City Manager Sam Janson, a member of the task force. “We had very productive meetings.”

The task force identified nearly $11 million in street resurfacing and public utility improvement projects. These projects would take place over a five-year period beginning in 2015.

Janson noted that about $1.7 million would be spent on street resurfacing and $9.2 million would be spent on utility projects.

The city also used a committee approach to generate the ideas on how to fund the utility projects.

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


Reality Check

A tax increase of 1 mill on a $200,000 house does not equate to $100. It equates to an extra $200. This would be on top of a tax bill that is already making me consider moving out of the city. What is city doing to cut their budget to pay for these improvements? What do they pay for employee pensions every year? Why didn't city officials begin planning for this years ago?


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