Voters in Scio Township are expected to see a millage renewal question in November

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Scio Township voters will again see a proposal question on their November ballots regarding land preservation and whether or not they want to help pay for it.

At their April 12 meeting, the Scio Township Board of Trustees approved directing the township administrator to have a resolution drafted approving ballot language to renew the land preservation millage for its original purpose, to restore the millage to the original .5 mills, and to place the proposal on the November 2, 2022 ballot.

In the township board’s meeting packet, back ground information was given on the proposal by the Scio Township Land Preservation Commission (LPC):

“Scio Township’s land preservation program was funded in November, 2004 with 75% of voters supporting a 0.5 mill, ten year ballot proposal. The millage was renewed in November, 2012 (two years before its expiration) for a second ten years with 70% support. Through FY 2020, Scio Township officials said the millage has generated $9.575 million which has been matched with other sources (federal, State, county, Ann Arbor Greenbelt and landowner discounts) at an equal amount. That ratio will soon change in Scio’s favor when the Renz and Andres conservation easements close, as Scio’s share will be only 17% and 29% respectively for those large, innovative projects.

Township funds have been involved with permanently conserving 1,585 acres to date (to increase with several closings scheduled for the next few months), 567 (36%) of which are accessible to the public. Combined with lands conserved by other entities, the total amount of protected land in Scio is just over 2,800 acres representing almost 13% of the land base. The LPC has identified over 4,000 acres that have conservation value, of which 2,600 are high priority farmlands and natural areas. If all of those high priorities were conserved, the total protected lands in Scio would approach 25%.

At its December, 2021 monthly meeting, the LPC recommended the land preservation millage be placed on the November, 2022 ballot for renewal of another ten years, and restored to the original 0.5 mill amount”

The original ballot proposal read: “Shall the Township of Scio permanently preserve farmland, open space, wildlife habitat, scenic views, and protect drinking water sources and the water quality of rivers and streams, and provide new parks, recreational opportunities and trails by funding the voluntary purchase of land or interests in land throughout the Township, and enable the Township to take advantage of matching funds in the City of Ann Arbor and elsewhere, by increasing the authorized millage for ad valorem taxes for the Township of Scio by 0.5 mills ($.50 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the ten fiscal years 2005 through 2014, inclusive. In the first year the estimated revenue will be $575,000.”

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