By Lynne Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org
The August ballot will have Dexter Township seeking a millage renewal for police services and a millage increase for fire services.
The current millage for both expires November of this year.
Dexter Township Supervisor, Harley Rider, said Dexter Township has contracted with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) for several years and the renewal of 1.5 mils is sufficient to continue contracting with the WCSO.
The request for an increase in mils for fire service is due to increased costs to fund Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD).
Rider said that while the DAFD strives to maintain within its budget, the budget does not allow for capital needs.
During the April 17 Dexter Township regular board meeting, Chief Robert Smith said the increase to its budget, in part, is due to government regulations imposed on the DAFD in regard to training, equipment and maintenance of such.
Rider added that there are many unknowns to the DAFD which include a possible newly manned fire station in Webster Township as well as the City of Dexter seeking to build a new fire station.
Fire services with the DAFD are through an Interlocal Agreement with Dexter Township, Webster Township and the City of Dexter.
The Dexter Township Board approved ballot language to be placed on the August ballot, subject to attorney review, to request a millage renewal of 1.5 mils for police services and in increase to 2.4 mils for fire service.
Rider added that if the request is approved by voters, they will actually be paying less in taxes in 2019 for fire and police services as the millage for the Dexter Township Fire Sub-Station expires in November 2018. After the November 2018 tax bill, Dexter Township residents will no longer be paying on the millage for the sub-station.
“People pay more per month for cable or cell phone service,” said Rider. “To me, police and fire are more important than cable TV, only when you need them, if you don’t need them than cable TV is much more important.”
Rider said the average Dexter Township resident will be around $50 per month for police and fire services.