Board members have expressed interest in asking township voters to renew a 10-year bike path millage in the November election. An amount for the levy has not been set.
The current 0.5-mill tax expires this year.
While Township Manager Gordon Gallagher suggested seeking a 0.3- or 0.4-mill levy, several board members said they would rather ask for the half-mill again, and roll back the rate if they find they don’t need the full amount.
A 0.5-mill tax would cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $50 a year. That millage generates about $300,000 each year for the township.
“If we intend to build more bike paths, which we do, why not?” Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma said of a possible millage request.
If the measure does make the ballot, don’t expect to be reading about nonmotorized paths. The board wants to call them bike paths.
“Nonmotorized paths just confuse the issue,” Township Supervisor John Nash explained.
Nash said he’s on board with a request for 10 years, but isn’t certain a 0.5-mill request is fair to voters, especially in light of a Spring Lake Public Schools bond issue that is headed for the ballot in May.
“If you look at the poor voters, they’re getting it from every side,” Nash said. “... With a half-mill (from the most recent 10-year millage), we built 25 miles of bike paths. Do we need 25 more miles?”
The first construction priority is a half-mile stretch on the south side of M-104 from Fruitport Road to Krueger Street, according to Township Community Development Director Lukas Hill. That path could be constructed this fall at a cost of about $180,000.
Hill said he's uncertain if the path could still be built without a successful millage vote.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.