BOC confirms membership of Kaliseum steering committee

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Seemingly, there was plenty to celebrate after Kalkaska County voters approved three millage renewals that will support the county’s public library, road maintenance and construction, and the local commission on aging in a special election Tuesday, Aug. 6.

But, for those who would like a second chance to vote on a potential long-term funding solution for the renovation, maintenance and operation of the Kaliseum Recreation Complex, they may have to wait a little longer.

Voters failed to approve a 20-year, 1.5-mill ballot proposal in a special election on Tuesday, May 7, by a margin of only 1,549 “yes” votes against 2,063 “no” votes. The proposed levy would have helped raise over $28 million over two decades to repair and upgrade the facility, as well as fund operations over the duration of the millage.

The defeat came less than nine months after commissioners closed the Kaliseum’s pool area, following an incident in which a fastener, a 5/8-inch bolt, fell from the ceiling or roof in early September 2018.

Members of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners have debated on placing a similar ballot proposal back before voters again at some point in the future. However, any proposal will be the product of discussions and recommendations by a recently formed “Kaliseum Steering Committee,” which commissioners voted to establish in June.

More than a month later, the county board took action to fill most of the seats on the nine-member committee.

At their July 17 meeting, commissioners unanimously voted, 7-0, to appoint seven members who would represent specific groups within the community. That would include interim Supt. Lee Sandy (Kalkaska Public Schools), administrator Kevin Rogols (Kalkaska Memorial Health Center), director Jodi Willison (Kalkaska County Commission on Aging), District No. 6 Commissioner Craig Crambell (Parks & Recreation Committee), Kalkaska Village Council Trustee Tim Ellis (Economic Development Committee) and Ryan Williams (pool representative).

Commissioners also discussed the appointment of local resident Debra Mooneyhan, but her name was removed from consideration for one of two at-large seats on the committee because she works at the facility.

District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, chairman of the county board, said he could propose to fill the final two at-large seats at the board’s next meeting Aug. 21.

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