BOC urges voters to get answers prior to May 7 election

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – With just under three weeks before voters head to the polls, members of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners are urging local residents to “get the facts” before making a decision on a 20-year, 1.5-mill proposal to raise more than $28 million to renovate and operate the Kaliseum Recreation Complex.

The county board, as well as an ad-hoc Friends of the Kaliseum group, has held a series of public forums to discuss and help educate potential voters on the need for the funding measure. The board also authorized a phone and online survey to help gather public input, before crafting a plan to replace equipment and upgrade the county-owned facility on West Mile Road.

If approved by voters, the proposed 20-year levy would help raise funds needed to repair and upgrade the facility, as well as fund operations over the duration of the millage.

Plans call for the replacement of all existing “mechanicals” at the Kaliseum, which opened in 1999, including a low-temp ice chiller, air-handling units for the ice arena and pool area, hot water boiler system and a high efficiency space cooling chiller.

Other improvements would be to install systems – including air conditioning – to make the second floor of the Kaliseum useable year-round. And, a new ice melt system would also be installed at the front entrance.

Another key to the proposal would be the installation of a building automation control network system to maximize efficiency throughout the facility in order to provide for increased energy savings.

Interior finishes to be funded by the proposal would include the demolition of drywall and metal studs on the second floor’s south wing to provide for a contiguous open space, addition of two restrooms on the second floor, as well as various renovations to all other restrooms, paint and patchwork throughout the facility, removal of the drop-ceiling grid in the lobby and refresh the pool space with new paint and tile.

Still, as the May 7 election approaches, county officials remain concerned that some voters remain uninformed.

At a regular meeting of the Kalkaska Village Council on April 11, District No. 7 Commissioner Patty Cox, vice chair of the county board, said the board and Kaliseum supporters are making every attempt to help potential voters make an informed decision.

“Get hold of someone to get your answers,” Cox said. “Or, go to the county website.”

According to Cox, county residents may view construction plans and what they hope to accomplish, if the proposal is approved by going to the homepage of the county’s website at and then click on the link, “Kaliseum 2019 Project Information.”

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:



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