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Eaton County parks millage up for vote Nov. 8

A sign welcomes visitors to Crandell Park in Eaton County.
Eaton County
Voters in Eaton County will vote on whether to approved a parks millage that seeks to make improvements to Crandell Lake Park.

The Eaton County Board of Commissioners wants to improve amenities in the county’s parks through a voter-approved tax millage increase this November.

If approved, the millage would be set at 50 mills which translates to about 30 dollars per household in Eaton County or $.50 cents for every thousand dollars of assessed property value.

Eaton County Parks Director Travis Keeton says the money would be used for playground pavilion improvements and some deferred maintenance projects.

“Most of our bathrooms, besides with the exception of two of them, they were built, I'm going to say maybe in the 80s, late 70s, and most of them are like a pit toilet kind of situation. Pavilions are quite aged,” he said. “A lot of its definitely going for deferred maintenance.”

Keeton says with the funds he’s hoping to completely update the playground at Fitzgerald Park.

“For the size that we have at Fitzgerald, it's easily a six figure dollar amount. So quite a few of the parks could use either upgrades or complete installation of new playgrounds,” he said.

Funds from the millage will also be used to make significant improvements to Crandell Park.

“The more development we get at Crandell, the more events we can have out there, with additional parking and everything else,” Keeton added. “And if we have more events going on inside the park system that in turn, just helps our local businesses.”

According to Keeton, receiving the funds from the millage would help his department get approved for outside grants like those from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“Currently, right now, if we go for a Michigan DNR trust fund grant, those typically require anywhere from a 25 to 50 percent match. And you have to have that money on hand,” he said.

If approved, the millage would last ten years and its expected to yield more than $2 million dollars of annual revenue according to the Eaton County Taxable Valuations.

The general election is Nov. 8.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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