By Gari Voss
The August 2, 2022 Primary Election included a slew of local renewal proposals focused on roads, waste reduction, fire equipment, and public transportation, plus the countywide request for senior citizen services.
The Senior Citizen Services countywide request for 0.493 mills for 2022-2025 passed handily. The local proposals did well with just a couple narrow margins.
The proposals in Allegan County that failed involved the broadband services in Holland and the Wayland Public Schools bond proposal.
The good news for Holland is that even though the Allegan County precincts did not pass the $30 million request, the Ottawa County precincts in Holland scraped together enough votes for a 3,948 Yes to 3,735 No win. The Holland Board of Public Work will move forward to build a municipal fiber optic network that will allow residents to connect to affordable internet within the next 2 years.
The 25-year Internet millage should average about 1.12 mills each year. Homeowners can opt into the new network for an approximate $800 connection fee that will be paid in $7 increments across 10 years. Along with the $7 will be a monthly 1 gigabit internet subscription for $35-$42.
In an exchange with MLive, superintendent of broadband services in Holland Pete Hoffswell explained, “It’s a community investment, just like we invest in our roads that are used by everybody, the fiber infrastructure can be used by everybody.”
The Wayland Public School bond proposal’s vote did not fair as well. The request to pass the $48.4 million proposal to replace the 50-year-old swimming pool, build a fine arts center and make upgrades to other areas of the facility was narrowly rejected 2,703 No to 2,478 Yes (52% to 48%).
If the proposal had passed, taxes would not have increased from the district’s current 8.4 mills. The payment of the bonds over 25 years would have been covered by the increase in the property value tax base across the district.
PROPOSALS – COUNTYWIDE
All of Allegan County
Senior Citizen Services Millage Renewal. Yes 19,991 No 7,900. 0.493 mills for 2022 through 2025.
PROPOSALS – CITIES
Douglas, Saugatuck and Saugatuck Township
Interurban Transit Authority Renewal. Douglas Yes 433 No 64 Saugatuck Yes 265 No 59 Saugatuck Township Yes 910 No 226. 0.5 mill for 5 years (2022 – 2026) for public transportation services.
Holland (Allegan Precincts only)
Broadband Bond. Yes 831 No 1,118 The goal to expand the City’s broadband internet transport services, including engineering and design, acquisition, construction, installation and expansion of fiber optics and all items associated with it met resistance.
PROPOSALS – TOWNSHIPS
Funding of Waste Reduction Programs. Yes 672 No 373. 10 years (2023-2032), $50 per year per household.
Renewal of Road Maintenance/Improvement Millage. Yes 249 No 143. 6 years (2022-2027), 2.0 mills.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs. Yes 1,145 No 1,057. 10 years (2023-2032) with $50 per year per household.
Road Millage Renewal. Yes 444 No 272. 1.5 mills for 2023 – 2026.
Gun Plain Township
Road Improvement Renewal. Yes 641 No 605. 2.0 mills for 2024 – 2033.
Major Fire Equipment Replacement Renewal. Yes 465 No 220. 1.0 mill for 2024 – 2028.
Renewal for Fire, Road, Bicycle Path and Drains. Yes 1,320 No 749. 2 mills for 2022 – 2023.
Road Millage Renewal. Yes 214 No 137. 2 mills for 3 years, 2022-2024.
Fire and Emergency Service Equipment. Yes 493 No 186. 0.75 mills for 2023 – 2026.
Road Reconstruction Renewal. Yes 565 No 366. 2 mills for 2023 – 2026.
Road Millage Renewal. Yes 320 No 199. 2 mills for 2023 – 2026.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs. Yes 282 No 238. 2023 – 2027, $50 per year per household.
Road Millage Renewal. Yes 340 No 185. 2 mills for 2023 – 2026.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs. Yes 294 No 228. 2023 – 2027, $50 per year per household.
Casco Township, Fennville City, Clyde Township, Ganges Township
Fennville District Library Millage Renewal. Yes 1,317 No 571. 2022 – 2031, 0.60 mill.
Fennville Public School District
Operating Millage Renewal. Yes 1,196 No 616. Restore 18 mills on all property except principal residence and other exempt properties.
Sinking Fund Renewal. Yes 1,085 No 713. 0.4867 mill, 2023 – 2032.
Gobles Public School District
Operating Millage Renewal. 0 votes cast in Allegan County.
Wayland Public School District
Bonding Proposal. Yes 2,478 No 2,703. Estimated 8.4 mills for 8 years to build new pool, fine arts center, and renovations.