Millage fails at Mid Pen by one vote

ESCANABA — Area voters supported one millage proposal — but denied another by just one vote — during a special election Tuesday.

In the Mid Peninsula School District, which includes the townships of Baldwin and Maple Ridge in Delta County and Ewing and Turin in Marquette County, voters had an opportunity to make their opinions on a sinking fund millage proposal for the district heard. 132 votes, or 49.81 percent, were cast in favor of increasing the limitation on the amount of taxes that can be assessed against all property in the district by an amount not to exceed two mills, or $2 for each $1,000 of taxable value, from 2019 to 2028. However, 133 votes, or 50.19 percent, were cast against the proposal.

The proposal would have allowed for the creation of a sinking fund, which would have been used for the construction or repair of school buildings, school security improvements, the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law. The district would have collected about $156,557 in 2019 had the millage request been approved.

Mid Peninsula School District Superintendent Eric VanDamme said he was disappointed by this outcome.

“Unfortunately, now we need to look where to cut in order to fund … the repairs needed in the facility,” he said.

Delta County residents also voted on an operating millage renewal proposal for Cornell Township from 2019 to 2023. 37 voters, or 66.07 percent, supported renewing the millage at one mill, or $1 per $1,000 of taxable value. 19 voters, or 33.93 percent, were against the millage’s renewal.

Cornell Township Supervisor Jerry Plourde was pleased the community voted in favor of the millage renewal.

“This shows that they support our small government,” he said.

The renewed millage will raise about $23,678 in its first year. While the millage will technically be reduced to .9994 mills — or $0.99 per $1,000 of taxable value — due to millage rollbacks, the millage proposal called for the renewal to be increased to match the original amount of one mill.