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County, Township And School Proposals On May 2 Ballot

Jackson County voters will be presented with a millage renewal request for special education funding and a new millage proposal for mental health services at the May Consolidated Election on Tuesday, May 2.  Voters in Blackman, Spring Arbor and Grass Lake Townships and Hanover-Horton and Jonesville (which extends into Jackson County) School Districts will also have proposals to consider.

The Jackson County Intermediate School District will be asking voters to renew a 1.55 millage  for the purpose of providing funds for the education of students with a disability.  The term of the renewal is six years and would raise approximately $6,700,000 annually.  This is a renewal of a millage that will expire with the 2017 tax levy and will not be a tax increase.

Voters in both Jackson and Hillsdale Counties will be presented with a first-ever millage request for mental health services funding.  The request, initiated by LifeWays, is for 0.50 mills for ten years.  If approved, the millage will raise $2,000,158 annually.

According to LifeWays CEO Maribeth Leonard, millage funds will not replace or reduce the amount of state funds, but rather, will provide critical programming and services that are already reduced, missing or discontinued.

“With approval, funding will provide access to mental health treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals, support school services and provide social and enrichment services for individuals with an intellectual or development disability,” Leonard said.

Other ballot issues for specific townships and school districts:

Blackman Township:  A millage request for a .25 mills for five years to fund parks and recreation improvements in the township.  They would include maintenance, improvements and development of recreational opportunities within the Township, including park improvements, and trail access for both water, walking and biking trails.

Grass Lake Township:  A millage renewal request of 1.2294 mills for the purpose of maintaining and operating fire protection services.  The renewal levy, if approved, is for five years.

Spring Arbor Township: A Township Road Improvements Contract and Bond Proposition would authorize the township to issue bonds for $8,615,000.  This is to pay for the 70% that cannot be funded by the Jackson County Department of Transportation.  The proposed millage is 3.99 mills for a 15 year period.  According to the Township’s website, the total cost of improving all local roads in Spring Arbor Township is $11,760,000.   The bond proceeds, along with Jackson County’s portion, would improve all 49 miles of local roads in the township.

Hanover-Horton School District: The District is requesting approval of a bond issue which would allow the borrowing of $250,000 for remodeling, equipping and re-equipping school facilities, in part for security purposes;  and acquiring, installing and equipping school facilities for instructional technology.  The millage that would be levied is .23 mills but would not increase taxes.

Jonesville School District: The District is asking voters for approval of a millage for the full 18 mills allowed by law on non-homestead properties.

Jackson County Elections Director Colleen Garety said the Michigan Secretary of State website will show everything that is on an individual’s ballot.  The website, https://vote.michigan.gov/mvic/  can also be used to check your registration, find your polling location, contact your Clerk,  and track your absentee ballot.

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