Support for millages

EDITOR

I write to you today to express my support in favor of the two ballot initiatives appearing before us during the May 7, 2019 election. Those topics are regarding the Delta County Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol and 911 Authority. I came to the conclusion to support both initiatives after some minor fact finding. Here are the facts;

Delta County Road Patrol has been supported by the people of Delta County for the past 30 years. The mils levied today (currently .9 mils) are the same that were passed by a majority of voters when the chose to have a Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol in 1990. The cost of doing police business in today’s world is substantially greater than that of 1990. It’s no wonder they are asking for a minor increase of .4 mils for a total levy of 1.3 mils. At today’s levy, property worth about $100,000, subsequently; assessed at $50,000 will have an annual cost of about $45 to the property owner. If the minor increase passes, in the same scenario, it will cost an additional $1.67 per month, or approximately $20 per year. None of the money raised through the Delta County Road Patrol ballot initiative can be utilized to support jail operations or jail staff. It can however be utilized to support essential ancillary services like Delta County Search and Rescue and the Delta County Dive Team.

The 911 Authority is seeking a renewal of their millage consisting of .75 mils, which has been in-place since 2005. I found it interesting that since it was instituted, the authority has never levied the maximum .75 that it lawfully could. The highest levy came in 2005 at .60 mils and the lowest came in 2015, 2016, and 2017 at .20 mils. In fact since 2005 the average annual levy works out to .386 mils, nearly half of what could have been levied. If you take the same $100,000 property assessed at $50,000 at .75 mils it would cost the property owner about $37.50 annually for local 911 dispatching operations. If the 911 Authority continues to levy as it previously has, we know over time you’ll pay about half of that, or less than $20 a year.

This election is an investment in the safety and security of Delta County. We all deserve quality, local people, protecting and serving our community. I ask you to join me in approving both of these ballot initiatives. Let’s keep our local 911 operators on the phone and our road patrol deputies on the street where they belong.

Gary LaPlant

Gladstone