Gorham Twp. voters OK new fire levy 3.12

Written by David Green.

Gorham Township voters—which includes village residents—narrowly approved a new levy for fire protection. The proposal passed 280-265.

An existing 1.5-mill levy for equipment expires this year, said township clerk Mike Figgins, and the new 1.5-mill levy will pay for wages, utilities and maintenance of the fire hall.

The five-year levy is expected to bring in about $46,000 annually, Figgins said, and about half of that will be used for wages.

The new levy goes along with a restructuring of the fire department funding, Figgins explained. The village currently pays half of the utilities cost for the fire hall and also for the cost of fires inside the village limits.

That arrangement ends with the passage of the levy and the township board will now take complete control of the fire department.

The village still owns the ladder truck, Figgins said, and council members will have to decide whether to continue ownership and maintenance or turn that over to the township.

FAYETTE LEVIES—Fayette voters approved both millage renewal requests, although support was far from overwhelming.

Renewal of the 2.9-mill operating levy passed by a 168-130 margin and renewal of the 2.0-mill park levy passed by a larger margin, 175-121.

Council members debated in December whether to seek a renewal or a replacement of the five-year operational levy.

The levy brings in $19,600 annually to the cash-strapped village, based on the same property value structure established in 1968. A replacement levy would have increased revenue to $44,000 by updating the levy to current property values.

During the discussion, some council members expressed concern about an impending increase in sewer rates due to the cost of a long-term upgrade project. With the expense on the horizon, councilors voted to leave the operational millage the existing rate.

Thirty-eight percent of Fayette’s registered votes went to the polls in the March 4 primary.

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