Depending on where you live White Lake Area residents will want to pay close attention to this year’s May 4 election.
For residents living in the City of Montague, Montague Township, Blue Lake Township, White River Township and Whitehall Township a millage renewal of 1.9 mills for the White Lake Ambulance Authority will be on the ballot.
As for people living inside the Reeths-Puffer School District a bonding proposal that is expected to be used to upgrade, furnish and remodel school district will be up for a vote.
White Lake Ambulance
Authority Millage Proposal
The language on the ballot currently reads, “Shall the White Lake Ambulance Authority be authorized to levy a tax at a rate not to exceed 1.9 mills (resulting in a tax of $1.90 for each $1000 taxable value if levied in its entirety) on all taxable property within the limits of the authority for a period beginning with the Dec. 1, 2021 and running to the Dec. 1, 2026 tax levy year (inclusive), which would raise in the first year of such levy, if collected in its entirety, an estimated revenue of $770,640.56 to be used for operating purposes? If approved, this would be a renewal of a previous millage.”
Director Jonathan Degen told the White Lake Beacon that this is a renewal of a millage. He said this money is used for their operating costs and supplements the money they already receive from insurance money collected from people using their service.
Right now, the White Lake Ambulance Authority is only collecting 1.8 mills from residents, and Degen said he expects that to stay the same. But costs could possibly rise due to inflation, the White Ambulance Authority may need to collect a little extra money sometime in the future, which is why it is looking to re-approve its ability to collect as many as 1.9 mills.
None of the money collected would go towards equipment costs. Degen said the White Lake Ambulance Authority maintains a separate fund, and prefer to pay cash for equipment.
Should the millage not pass, Degen said the White Lake Ambulance Authority would try again in December, but would only be able to operate for about a year without the millage.
He said their ambulance services provides an important service for not only the local municipalities that maintain it, but also helps to support the Whitehall and Muskegon areas that are covered by Pro-Med Ambulance.
District Bonding Proposal
According to the ballot proposal, the Reeths-Puffer School District is looking to borrow $23 million to pay for, “Remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping school facilities; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school facilities; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping athletic fields, playgrounds and sites.”
The school district doesn’t expect to be borrowing money from the State of Michigan to pay for the bonds. And instead, will be using money collected from 1.95 mill increase.
To help answer questions and educate residents on the proposal Reeths-Puffer has built a special website viewable at: https://www.rp-bond.com/.
According to the website, about 60 percent of the $23 million bond would be used for safety and infrastructure needs like replacing heating and cooling equipment, replacing roofing and windows, adding insulation and much more. The remaining amount would be used for STEAM learning, fine arts, athletics and physical education, technology and new furnishings.
A full list of proposed projects can be found at the previously mentioned website.