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Sterling Heights to host forums on recreation millage

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Sterling Heights – — City officials will host four public meetings to educate people on a proposed property tax increase that would fund a $45 million plan to expand the town’s parks and recreational offerings.

The millage, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, calls for several projects outlined in the Sterling Heights’ Recreating Recreation Initiative, including a dog park, outdoor ice rink and a 122,000-square-foot community center.

The 0.97-mill property tax increase would cost the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 nearly $78 annually for 20 years.

The public forums are scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 7 and Sept. 19; and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and Oct. 11 at the Sterling Heights Senior Center on 40200 Utica Road.

City leaders will be at forums to answer questions and discuss proposed project details, renderings and the financial breakdown.

“It’s important for the city to share as much information as possible with the public,” Mayor Michael Taylor said. “So they know what it is and what it isn’t.”

The community center would include an athletic track, basketball courts, private rooms for parties, meeting rooms and an exercise room, officials say. Other proposed projects include:

■A permanent facility for the Dodge Park Farmers Market.

■An outdoor splash park.

■A multi-use skate park and mini-turf soccer field.

The town also wants to create facilities for canoeing and kayaking and make capital improvements to 21 neighborhood parks and five major parks.

If the millage is approved, funding for the projects would become available in July 2017, officials say. Construction could start soon after.

“Right now the city of Sterling Heights lags behind other comparable communities with what we spend on parks and recreation,” Taylor said. “This proposal will give residents opportunities to recreate in new and meaningful ways.”

Kyle Langlois, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the initiative would offer residents some recreation opportunities more aligned with what they prefer.

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