Voters back care facility, local library

HOUGHTON – Chassell Township voters decided to stay in the Portage Lake Library District in Tuesday’s primary, which also saw county voters renew a millage for the Houghton County Medical Care Facility and voters in Lake Linden approve a school bond project.

The Chassell Township proposal failed by a vote of 340 (54.1 percent) to 289 (46 percent).

“I’m thrilled,” said library Director Dillon Geshel. “For me it’s an enormous relief to know the 800-plus Chassell residents that utilize our library, which is nearly half of the population there, will be able to have access to the educational and recreational opportunities they need.”

Geshel thanked voters in Chassell Township, which joined the library 20 years ago, for “unwavering support.”

“I think it really speaks to how much the community values our library,” he said.

Voters overwhelmingly backed a renewal of the Houghton County Medical Care Facility operating millage, approving it 4,291 (79.7 percent) to 1,095 (20.3). The six-year, 2.5531-mill renewal will raise an estimated $2.18 million in its first year.

The support outpaced the 70 percent it received in 2010. Houghton County Board members initially proposed a two-year millage, which they backed away from following a meeting with facility staff. The board approved putting a six-year millage at the previous rate on the August ballot after numerous residents spoke in support of the facility at a board meeting.

“We definitely appreciate the ongoing support that we’ve received from the community,” said Administrator Tammi Lehto. “This is going to assist us in our overall mission. We’re going to continue to provide high-quality care for our residence and make sure we have the best living environment to meet their needs.”

Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools voters approved a $2.77 million bond for a new building project 423 (62.1 percent) to 258 (37.9). The millage will start off at 1.25 mills in 2017, and can last for up to 14 years. The money will be used for remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, equipping, and re-equipping and installing security measures for school buildings; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; purchasing school buses; and developing and improving athletic fields, playground and other sites.

“We thank the voters, and we appreciate them giving us the support they’ve given us and keep giving us,” said Superintendent Craig Sundblad. “These are necessary things to do to keep our facilities in top shape and provide a good education to our students. We’re just thankful for what they give us.”

The majority of construction will be done next summer, Sundblad said.

Also passing were:

Houghton County’s renewal of an 8-mill, four-year operating millage (3,811 to 1,412);

Calumet Township’s 1.5-mill, eight-year maintenance millage (318 to 203);

Duncan Township’s 0.8943-mill, four-year operating millage (57 to 17); 1.7889-mill, four-year fire protection millage (55 to 17); 0.9432-mill, four-year ambulance millage (61 to 12); and a 0.4715-mill, four-year fire hall millage (58 to 16);

Elm River Township’s .9794-mill, four-year general services millage (62 to 15) and 1.9589-mill, four-year general fund millage (57 to 19);

Franklin Township’s 0.25-mill, four-year millage for fire apparatus (156 to 75); 2-mill, four-year millage for roads (152 to 79); 1.25-mill, four-year millage for the Quincy-Franklin Fire Department fund (105 to 46); 1.25-mill, four-year millage for the Ripley Fire Department fund (66 to 15); 2-mill, four-year renewal for the Ripley Water Department fund (49 to 29;

Quincy Township’s 1-mill, four-year operating millage (24 to 7); and 1.25-mill, four-year millage (28 to 4).