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Washington Twp. trustees put park millage on ballot

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Washington Township — Township trustees approved language for a parks and recreation millage renewal question by a 6-1 vote Wednesday night.

Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary (not pictured) feels his taxpayers are shouldering most of the financial burden of parks programs for their community and two smaller neighbors — Romeo and Bruce Township — without any more say on how funds should be spent.

If approved by voters, the four-year renewal of .75 mills per $1,000 of taxable property would raise $1,145,546 in its first year. The issue will be on the August primary ballot.

Last November, township voters rejected a 1-mill, 20-year issue Supervisor Dan O'Leary promoted to allow Washington Township to buy the Total Sports Park, an athletic complex that includes soccer fields and volleyball courts, for $11.5 million. 

O'Leary has called for his township to have more of a voting say on the four-member commission that governs a joint recreation district that includes Bruce Township and Romeo.

Critics fear its passage will lead to establishment of a township parks department that will cost more and end strong ties between the three communities.