Wayne Co. voters to decide parks millage Aug. 2

Charles E. Ramirez
DetroitNews-Unknown

Voters in Wayne County will decide on Aug. 2 whether to continue a millage that funds county park operations and upgrades.

Officials are asking residents to renew the tax for another five years. County voters first approved the millage in 1996 and it’s been renewed three times. If voters approve, the tax would be levied at a rate of .2459 mills, generating a projected $9.8 million this year.

The millage pays for the operation of county recreation facilities such as Hines Park, Elizabeth Park and Chandler Park as well as some municipal parks in the county’s 43 communities. If the tax is renewed, the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 would pay $12.29 a year.

“The Wayne County parks millage provides outstanding recreational opportunities to the residents and visitors of Wayne County,” said Beverly Watts, director of the county’s Public Services Department and interim director of its parks division.

“Our millage allows us to operate and invest in our 37 parks, two golf courses and Family Aquatic Center,” she said. “The millage not only provides vital revenue support to the parks of Wayne County but also contributes to improvements of local municipal park systems.”

Wayne County’s parks cover more than 5,600 acres and two golf courses, a boat marina and a water park.

The parks division of the county’s Public Services Department has an annual budget of about $15.3 million, the lion’s share of which comes from the millage.

“With the renewal of the Wayne County parks millage, we will be able to support the Wayne County Parks system’s great recreational opportunities, educational activities, cultural programming and capital improvements — which will continue to improve the quality of life for our families and visitors,” Watts said.

Don Nicholson, president of The Friends of Nankin Mills, said he hopes voters support the millage.

The Friends of Nankin Mills is a volunteer organization that works to preserve the historic mill in the Nankin Mills Recreation Area on Ann Arbor Trail in Hines Park in Westland. The mill was built in the 1840s to grind grain and is now used as a nature center.

“The parks are an important part of our community,” Nicholson said. “They’re not just for recreation, they’re also our history. I hope the millage gets renewed. I want our county to keep funding its parks.”

cramirez@detroitnews.com

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