Village officials see advantage of road millage renewal

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Many Kalkaska County residents have seen firsthand the benefits of a five-year, 1.0-mill levy approved in 2014 to help fund construction and upgrades of county roads, with Kalkaska County Road Commission officials using the millage to provide matching funds and obtain millions of dollars in state and federal grants over the last five years.

Now, that road millage is up for a proposed renewal in an upcoming special election on Tuesday, Aug. 6. And, one municipality wants its residents to know how it benefits them, even without the KCRC overseeing a single road improvement project within its boundaries.

At recent Kalkaska Village Council meeting, village manager Scott Yost said the village is a direct beneficiary of the road levy, receiving about $55,000 annually.

According to KCRC Manager John Rogers, that’s because state law allows incorporated villages and cities to capture revenues provided through countywide millages. And, the road millage has become an important source of revenue for the village.

“I can say the road millage is a huge benefit for the village,” said Harley Wales, Kalkaska village president. “And, in the past, we have truly appreciated the contribution it was able to make to our service to the village.

“I can also encourage all registered voters to get to the polls and cast their votes.”

Since the passage of the road levy, the village has used the additional funds to help purchase a new slow plow, equipped with the wing blade to improve the efficiency of Kalkaska’s snow removal efforts.

“That was the fruit of the millage,” Wales added. “I think all would agree living here in Kalkaska the speed of snow removal, and the safety of our roads, is critical to being able to enjoy living here.

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