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Proposals to look for on Tuesday’s ballot

Courtesy of Anthony Lampinen Stanton Township firefighters are seeking a four-year renewal of their operating millage, which funds things like building, maintenance, equipment upgrades and training.

When voters in Houghton County head out to the polls for the presidential primary Tuesday, residents of Adams Township, Stanton Township and the village of Laurium will also consider proposals for millage renewals.

Stanton Township residents will vote on renewing the operating millage for the fire department.

The four-year measure would renew the fire department millage at 2 mills. That’s the same amount voters had approved at the most recent renewal. Since that election, the actual amount levied had dropped to 1.9172 mills as property values increased.

The millage would be split between the township’s two precincts. The Liminga Fire Department in Precinct 1 would get 75%. The other 25% would go to Precinct 2’s Toivola Fire Department, which also gets funding from Bohemia and Ontonagon townships.

If approved, the millage would raise an estimated $140,811 in its first year.

Building maintenance and equipment receives funding through the millage, said Liminga Fire Chief Anthony Lampinen.

Liminga recently bought new airpacks to replace older ones that no longer met National Fire Protection Association Standards. The department’s five-year plan also includes a new vehicle for first responders and an upgrade to its pumper truck; their current one is from 1978.

Money also goes toward training.

“Our firefighters and medical first responders have continuing education credits they need to get every year,” Lampinen said.

Precinct 1 has 23 members, Lampinen said. Of those, 18 have advanced Firefighter II certification. Two have a Fire Officer I certification and three are fire instructors. There are eight certified medical first responders, some of whom are also firefighters, Lampinen said.

“We’re very fortunate we do have a very good age covering too — some younger, some middle, some older ones,” he said.

Stanton Township residents have consistently supported the millage. In 2020, the renewal got more than 85% of the vote.

If voters did not pass it, the department would have to look at other ways of raising money, Lampinen said.

“We would probably run out of funds within a year or so,” he said. “We save up a little each year so we can put it toward a bigger thing like a vehicle. But if we didn’t get it, we’d have to do fundraisers every week or something, and at that point you’d probably lose members.”

Adams Township School District

Residents of Adams Township School District will consider a school district operating millage renewal of 19.2 mills over nine years. The proposal, if passed, will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its full revenue per pupil foundation allowance. The remaining 1.2133 mills are only available to be levied to restore millage lost as a reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will only be levied to the extent necessary to restore that reduction.

The proposal asks if the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Adams Township School District, Houghton and Ontonagon counties, Michigan, be increased by 19.2133 mills ($19.2133 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of nine years, 2024 to 2032, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2024 is approximately $535,000 (this is a renewal of millage that expired with the 2023 tax levy.

Village of Laurium

Also seeking a millage renewal is the village of Laurium. The village is seeking a millage .9221 millage renewal ($.9221 per $1,000 of state taxable value), together with an additional increase of .0779 mills of State Taxable Value during each of the nine years of 2024-2029 inclusive, to equate a total rate of 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 State Taxable Value), said millage to be used exclusively for snow removal operations for the village of Laurium Municipal Street Fund. The estimated amount of revenue that would be collected for the year is $28,875.

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