Shiawassee County voters will be asked to decide a number of ballot proposals in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 general election, locally and at the state level. All ballots will include Proposals 1 and 2 ballot questions and the 9-1-1 Central Dispatch ballot question. Ballots in the city of Durand, the village of Morrice and Middlebury, New Haven and Shiawassee townships will also include ballot proposals specific to each municipality.
Proposal 1 would make changes to how revenue in the state’s park-related funds can be spent. As of 2018, the funds received revenue from mineral, oil and gas leases and royalties. The ballot measure would affect the following funds:
• The Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF), which provides grants to local governments for acquiring land for recreational use, environmental conservation and scenic importance and for developing recreational facilities. The ballot measure would make projects to renovate and redevelop existing recreational facilities eligible for grants. The ballot measure would require that a minimum of 25 percent of grant funding be spent on developing, renovating and redeveloping recreational facilities each year. As of 2018, a maximum of 25 percent of grant funding could be spent on developing facilities. The ballot measure would continue to provide that a minimum of 25 percent of grant funding be spent on acquiring land each year.
• The State Parks Endowment Fund (SPEF), which provides funding for the state park system. As of 2018, the fund could be spent on the acquisition of land and capital improvements. The ballot measure would allow the fund to be spent on park operations and maintenance. The ballot measure would require that at least 20 percent of the annual expenditures be spent on capital improvements.
Proposal 1 would also remove the NRTF’s cap of $500 million in principal and allow the trust fund to begin receiving revenue again after the SPEF reaches $800 million in principal. The NRTF reached the cap in 2011. Removal of the cap would allow the NRTF to grow faster and increase funding for grants.
Proposal 2 would add language to the Michigan State Constitution that requires a search warrant to access electronic data or electronic communications. The ballot measure would also state that electronic data and electronic communications are secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.
This proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Prohibit unreasonable searches or seizures of a person’s electronic data and electronic communications; and
• Require a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications, under the same conditions currently required for the government to obtain a search warrant to search a person’s house or seize a person’s things.
9-1-1 Central Dispatch: Shall the county of Shiawassee be authorized to continue the charge for 9-1-1 emergency telephone and dispatch services on all landline, wireless and voice-over internet protocol service users located within the geographic boundaries of Shiawassee County at a rate not to exceed $2.65 each month to be used exclusively to fund the operation and maintenance of 9-1-1 emergency telephone and dispatch services in the county of Shiawassee?
City of Durand Public Transportation: Shall the city of Durand assess and collect .215 mills ($.215 per $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of three (3) years, that being fiscal years 2021-2022 through 2023-2024, inclusive, for the purpose of subsidizing public transportation? The city of Durand estimates that it will collect $14,585.51 in the first year if the proposal is approved.
Middlebury Township Millage Renewal for Road Maintenance: Shall Middlebury Township continue to levy two mills ($2 per $1,000.00) on taxable value of property located in the township of Middlebury for five years beginning with the 2020 tax levy year and running through the 2024 tax levy year (inclusive), which will raise in the first year of such levy an estimated revenue of $85,000 to be used exclusively for the specific purpose of construction, maintenance, repair and improvement of roads within the township? If approved, this millage will be a renewal of a previously authorized millage.
New Haven Township Road Repairs and Maintenance: Shall New Haven Township continue to levy a total of two mills ($2 per $1,000.00) on taxable value of property located in the New Haven Township for five years beginning with the 2020 tax levy year and running through 2026 tax levy year (inclusive), which will raise in the first year of such levy an estimated revenue of $100,000 to be used for the specific purpose of road repairs and maintenance? If approved, this would be a renewal of a previously authorized millage.
Shiawassee Township Public Transportation Millage: This proposal requests the authorization for the levy of a renewal millage for the purpose of supporting the provision of public transportation services in the township of Shiawassee. This millage would be disbursed to the Shiawassee Area Transportation Agency and used to defray the expenses of existing transportation services. If authorized by the voters, it is estimated that the levy of the entire millage would generate $10,034 the first year. Shall a renewal millage for public transportation services be levied in an amount of .1168 mills ($.11 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) annually for a period of two years?
Village of Morrice Street Millage: Shall the village of Morrice continue to levy two mills ($2 per $1,000) on taxable value of property located in the village of Morrice, in accordance with the tax limitation imposed under Article IX, Sec. 6 of the Michigan Constitution, and levy it for ten (10) years beginning with the 2023 tax levy year and running through the 2032 tax year (inclusive)? If approved and levied in its entirety, the millage will raise, in the first year of such levy, estimated revenue of $29,552.00 to be used solely for the specific purpose of providing street replacement, repair and maintenance within the village limits. As required by law, a portion of the millage may also be disbursed to the Downtown Development Authority of the village of Morrice. If approved, this would be a renewal of a previously authorized millage.
Village of Morrice Ambulance Services Proposition: Shall the village of Morrice create an Emergency Services (Ambulance) Special Assessment District comprised of the entire village limits of the village of Morrice for the purpose of raising money by special assessment therein to assist the village of Morrice in funding its obligations to the Emergency Services (Ambulance) Authority for said district? The exact amount of the special assessment shall be determined by the village of Morrice after public hearings, conducted pursuant to village of Morrice Special Assessment Ordinance and/or other applicable authority.