Oakland voters to decide city, school, council issues

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Assessments, millage proposals and operating budgets for police services and schools that could raise millions of dollars are among issues to be decided in seven Oakland County communities in Tuesday’s primary election.

Hazel Park voters will decide a police services special assessment district renewal of up to 2.8 mills on taxable value of real property over the next 10 years, or about $2.80 per $1,000 of taxable value. If approved, owners of a property valued at $100,000 would pay $140 annually.

The renewal would collect $431,338 in its first year, according to Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher.

“That’s about 10 percent of our police budget,” Klobucher said. “And it is critically important for the functioning of our police department.”

Klobucher said the renewal is needed to pay and maintain minimum staffing of the 33-officer department.

Hazel Park voters in February approved a funding authority in cooperation with Eastpointe in Macomb County that will assess 14 mills annually for the next 20 years for fire and ambulance services.

In Northville, voters will be asked to approve an increase of 2.5 mills for 15 years for operations. That increase of about $2.50 per $1,000 of taxable value would raise about $753,000 in 2016. A homeowner of property valued at $100,000 would pay about $125 annually.

Royal Oak Township voters will decide whether to renew a levy of 4.5 mills for general operating capital purchase funds, beginning Dec. 31 through Dec. 31, 2019. A property owner with property valued at $100,000 would be taxed $4.50 per $1,000 or about $225 a year. If approved, it’s estimated about $465,000 will be collected in the first year.

The Clarenceville District, which covers parts of Oakland and Wayne counties, seeks a non-homestead millage of 19 mills or $19 per $1,000 of taxable valuation for 10 years for general operating expenses. It is estimated, if approved, the district will collect about $2.35 million in 2016, about 11 percent of the general budget.

The millage applies only to local business and commercial property owners other than principal residences. Voters approved similar millages in 1996 and 2005.

Voters in the Madison Public Schools district are being asked to approve borrowing $16.7 million and issue general obligation bonds for building improvements to its high school and middle school. The estimated millage levied for proposed bonds in 2015 is 2.62 mills, or $2.62 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation. The estimated average millage to retire the bonds would be 5.23, officials say.

Cost to the average Madison Heights homeowner whose property is valued at $80,000 would be about $210 annually, Superintendent Randy Speck said.

He said the bond proposal is part of the district’s plan to consolidate pre-school through 12th grade classes all onto one campus, Speck said. In January 2015, the district opened the new Madison Elementary and officials are planning a new middle school.

In Pontiac, voters will decide whether to approve a 2.87 mill increase for five years through 2019 for a sinking fund for construction or repair of school buildings and other purposes. The estimate revenue, if approved, is nearly $7.1 million this year. The cost to a homeowner of property valued at $100,000 is $146 annually.

In the only elected office race in the county, Southfield voters are being asked to whittle a field of 11 city council candidates down to four. The three with the highest vote totals will win four-year terms and the fourth person will wins a two year term.

Candidates for council include incumbents Lloyd Crews, Donald Fracassi and Sidney Lantz; along with newcomers Daniel Brightwell, Chile Chuku, Diane Fuseilier-Thompson, Tawnya Morris, Linnie Taylor, Tiffany Tilley, Nehemiah Felton Williams, and Whitney Williams.


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