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Colosseum millage mulled in Calumet

Levy to raise $80K annually for upgrades

July 24, 2012
By KURT HAUGLIE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET TOWNSHIP - A renewal for the 1 mill levy for the operation of the Calumet Colosseum will be on the August primary election ballot, and Paul Lehto wants to be certain voters know how important it is.

During a meeting Monday with a few members of the Calumet Hockey Association in the community room of the Colosseum, Lehto spoke about how important the building is for the community, not just hockey players.

The first millage for the Colosseum was passed by voters four years ago, Lehto said. This time, the request is for an eight-year levy. The millage applies to all Calumet Township communities.

Article Photos

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Calumet Township Supervisor Paul Lehto talks Monday with members of the Calumet Hockey Association about the need to renew the 1 mill operation levy for the Calumet Colosseum.

"It would raise a little over 80 grand a year," he said of the 1 mill levy.

However, Lehto said it takes about $50,000 annually for such things as heat, electric, snow removal, janitor wages and small repairs.

The CHA provides the township about $13,000 per year for use of the Colosseum, Lehto said.

The building's ice plant is very old, Lehto said, with the pipes in the floor for creating the ice sheet having been installed in 1968.

"A lot of it is 40 years old," he said. "It's getting tired."

An estimate of $178,000 to replace the ice plant was given to him, Lehto said.

Lehto said the building's Zamboni ice smoothing machine, which belongs to the CHA, is 21 years old, and has mechanical problems. An estimate to replace it is $80,000.

Lehto said the township board of trustees can't promote a millage, which is why he was asking the members of the CHA to get involved with talking about the request for renewal on the August ballot, and with help handing out flyers about it. The flyers state about $1 million for various construction projects at the Colosseum was spent in the past eight years. The flyers also list 13 organizations and events that make use of the building throughout the year.

Lehto said he hoped the members of the CHA could also do fundraisers to help defray costs of running the building.

"There are big donors out there," he said.

Most of the nine people at the meeting agreed to take part in handing out flyers. Although he was hoping 30-40 people would be at the meeting, Lehto said he was confident enough of the flyers would be distributed before the election.

Lehto said the millage is important for keeping the Colosseum working well.

"I don't want to sit here and see everything deteriorate," he said.



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