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Richmond Township voters to consider fire fund millage

MARQUETTE — In the upcoming general election Tuesday, Richmond Township residents will vote on a new millage for the Richmond Township Fire Department. The proposed millage is up to 1.5 mills — or $1.50 per $1,000 dollars of taxable property value — for 15 years.

The millage would be levied from 2019 through 2033 inclusively for “purpose of providing funding for the operation and maintenance of the vehicles, apparatus and equipment of the Richmond Township Fire Department, raising an estimated $27,000 in the first year the millage is levied,” the proposal states.

The amount taxed will begin at less than 1.5 mills and increase only if needed, explained Richmond Township Supervisor Scott Mills.

“We need to add to our current money coming in. With the Empire Mine not running, we’re not getting specific ore tax from them anymore so our budget has spiraled downhill quickly,” Mills said. “Their money was the bulk of our budget, so it’s a devastating hit for us.”

Mills hopes voters will support the millage so the fire department can continue to offer its services.

“If we don’t have a fire department in the township, by the time mutual aid were to get here either from Negaunee Township or Ishpeming Township whatever structure may have been on fire is going to be gone,” he said. “In order to have a decent response time, we have to have a local fire department.”

Voters’ presence at the polls is crucial to passing the millage and the operations of the Richmond Township Fire Department, he said.

“It’s the right thing to do for everybody, to get out and vote however they feel,” Mills said.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.