Millage Proposals For Ingham Elder Services, 9-1-1, And Lansing Parks

Jul 30, 2020

Tuesday's primary election ballot includes several millage proposals that would continue funding for 9-1-1 emergency services and services for people over 60 in Ingham County, along with money for parks in Lansing. WKAR's Scott Pohl reports on the proposals.

LANSING PARKS MILLAGE PROPOSAL

Lansing operates 111 parks, many with playgrounds, along with 16 miles of River Trail.

Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Brett Kaschinske says usage of city parks has increased during the pandemic. “Parks are used for our physical health and our physical well-being," Kaschinske explains. "I think during this pandemic, we have seen how parks are used for our mental health.”

If approved, the Lansing parks millage would renew a levy of one mill per year over five years, starting next July 1st. Voters have approved the millage without fail since 1990.

Kaschinske says along with funding capital improvements to the parks, the millage helps secure matching grant money at the federal, state and county levels.

Lansing is currently offering an online survey to gather public input on their five-year plan for city parks.  

FUNDING FOR INGHAM COUNTY'S EMERGENCY DISPATCH CENTER

Voters in Ingham County have approved the 9-1-1 millage every four years since 1996. This time around, county commissioners are asking for a ten-year renewal.

Ingham County Commissioner Derrell Slaughter

Derrell Slaughter chairs the Ingham County Board of Commissioners Law and Courts committee. He says the millage covers just over half of the dispatch center’s funding. “The other portion is made up through a surcharge of folks cell phone bills and through general funds," Slaughter adds, "and federal government, state funds.”

The 0.85 mills would raise more than six-and-a-half million in the first calendar year. The owner of a home worth $100-thousand dollars would be taxed just over $42 a year for 9-1-1 services.

NEW MILLAGE WOULD SUPPORT CARE FOR THE ELDERLY

Ingham County Commissioner Todd Tennis
Credit Courtesy photo

Ingham County voters will decide the fate of a proposed new millage to provide services for older residents of the county. The proposal would bring in money to pay for services like in-home care and meals on wheels provided to Ingham County residents age 60 and older.

Todd Tennis is on the county board of commissioners human services committee. He says the older population has a growing need for such assistance, “and if we’ve learned nothing else from this current pandemic," he continues, "it’s that people are a lot healthier and safer when they stay at home, particularly those who are older.”

Tennis says the state has tried to keep up with these services, but hasn’t been able to, and demand is increasing. Waiting lists for local programs are getting longer, a trend he expects would worsen if this proposal fails at the ballot box.

If approved by voters, the 0.3 mills would raise $2.3-million in the first calendar year, and would be in effect for four years. It would cost the owner of a home worth $100-thousand dollars about $15 a year.

TWO FUNDING PROPOSALS IN LESLIE

Also on tap Tuesday are funding proposals in Leslie. Leslie Public Schools are asking for a bonding proposal of just over $13-million dollars for building improvements and additions. Leslie Township is proposing a four-year renewal of a little less than one mill for fire protection.