2017-07-13 / Front Page

Gaines Township board considers millage request

810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

GAINES TOWNSHIP – The Gaines Township Board of Trustees is considering asking voters for more money for the fire department.

Supervisor Paul Fortino said the township has fallen behind in replacing aging equipment.

“It takes so long to set money aside for large equipment,” Fortino said. “We’d be in the hole without the last grant.”

Treasurer Diane Hyrman said the current 1 mil the township collects for fire protection “doesn’t take in enough to pay for operating (the fire department) in total.”

The township supplements the fire service with money from the general fund. If the township could take some of the burden off the general fund, it could free up more money for projects such as roads, said Clerk Michael Dowler.

“We’re getting behind there, too,” he said. “We can’t keep up with graveling.”

Fire Chief Joe Hyrman said the department soon will have to replace its 1995 pickup truck, as well as a 22-yearold pumper. The township could offset some of the cost for the pumper if it receives another grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

A 1-mil increase would generate about $165,000, according to Diane Hyrman. However, she recommends the township ask for 1.25 mils, which could be divided between equipment, operations and facilities.

The township must submit ballot language to the county clerk’s office by mid-August to have the question placed on the November ballot.

The board of trustees will revisit the matter at the Wednesday, Aug. 2, meeting.

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