LMC millage renewal vote here Feb. 2
BENTON TOWNSHIP -- Officials at Lake Michigan College have set a special election for Monday, Feb. 2, to renew the college's .9004 charter operating millage.
The millage request, which if approved by voters will not increase taxes, seeks a 20-year renewal of the levy that was last approved in 1984.
The millage renewal request represents about one half of the college's total 1.8209 millage levy and accounst for 22 percent of the college's total budget.
If approved, the renewal will generate about $5.2 million.
Like all community colleges in Michigan, LMC is funded through a combination of state aid, student tuition and fees and local property taxes. Its millage rate is the eventh lowest among Michigan's 28 community colleges. The LMC district includes all of Berrien County, Covert Township in Van Buren County and the South Haven Public School District.
Board of Trustee Chairman Steve Silcox said, despite more than $650,000 in budget cutbacks from the state and projections for more cutbacks in the future, LMC is not seeking a millage increase because the college has maintained a balanced budget through prudent fiscal management.
Other members of the board expressed that among the most important accomplishments of the colelge in recent years has been improved accessibility and broadened availability of college programs to studetns. They noted that the construction of the new campuses in Niles and South Haven, the addition of M-TEC in the City of Benton Harbor, dual enrollment programs for high school juniors and seniors, Western Michigan University's presence on the Napier Avenue campus, as well as Internet-delivered classes and telecourses have all helped make a college accessible in ways never before possible.
LMC President Dr. Richard Pappas said while the college's past and present successes are important, LMC and the region need to be focused on the future.
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