Voters defeat proposal to renovate, operate Kaliseum by over 500 votes

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The future of the Kaliseum Recreation Complex may be in doubt after Kalkaska County voters defeated a 20-year, 1.5-mill proposal by more than 500 votes in a special election Tuesday, May 7.

The lone ballot proposal before voters countywide garnered only 1,549 “yes” votes against 2,063 “no” votes.

A majority of voters in 10 of 12 precincts cast their ballots against the funding request that would have provided over $28 million to overhaul and upgrade mechanical equipment at the county-owned facility, as well as for renovations, maintenance and operational funding over the two decades of the proposed tax levy.

Kalkaska Township was the lone district in which the ballot proposal passed, 606 to 401. And, it was a draw in Oliver Township, with 32 votes cast in support of the issue against 32 “no” votes.

“Right now, I’m pretty disappointed,” said District No. 7 Commissioner Patty Cox, vice chairwoman of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners.

“I had hope,” she added. “I thought we had changed some people’s minds.”

The defeat at the polls comes just a little less than three months after commissioners voted to approve ballot language and have the proposal placed on the May 7 ballot at a special meeting Feb. 11. And, it comes just under eight months after the county board voted to close the pool area at the Kaliseum, following an incident in which a 5/8th fastener fell from the ceiling in mid-September 2018.

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