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Moving on without a millage

Hancock mulls failure of levy

November 8, 2012
By KURT HAUGLIE - DMG writer (khauglie@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - When Hancock City Council Member John Haeussler suggested to other council members a request for return to the city's general fund 15 mills levy be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot, he knew it would be a tough sell to voters.

However, Haeussler said he was disappointed in the 1,044 no votes to 734 yes votes the request received Tuesday.

"I'm personally disappointed in myself," he said. "I think (informing the voters) could have been done better."

The ballot request sought a return to the 15 mills for the general fund authorized in the Hancock city charter of 1988 to replace the current 13.4215 mills.

Haeussler and the other council members wanted the 15 mills for the general fund to help cover the costs of many deferred maintenance issues, including street repair.

Haeussler said the current total millage rate for Hancock taxpayers is 44.0168, which includes the 13.4125 for the general fund, .7806 for a city fire truck, 6 for state education, 11.33 for school debt, 2.25 for two Copper Country Intermediate School District millages and 10.1 to 10.2 for three county millages.

The current general fund millage is 30 percent of the total 44.0168 Hancock residents pay, he said.

In an article in the Oct. 22 edition of The Daily Mining Gazette about the ballot request to return to 15 mills for the general fund, City Manager Glenn Anderson said not having the full millage is creating difficulties to get some maintenance projects in the city completed.

"It's gotten extremely tight since the recession," he said in the October article.

In 2002, Anderson said for the October article, Hancock received a peak of $610,000 in revenue sharing from the state, but for the 2012 fiscal year, the city received $370,000. Road funds from the state and federal government are down 4 percent, also.

"The general fund has lost its ability to undertake any significant capital outlay projects," he said.

Haeussler said the city council members and Anderson have been dealing with the loss of general fund revenue for a while now, and will continue to do the best they can with what they have.

"We'll move on," he said.

 
 

 

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