County voters deciding six proposals

Published 4:23 am Monday, August 7, 2006

By By NORMA LERNER / Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Voters in Cass County have six proposals to settle on the Aug. 8 ballot.
There is a countywide request for a renewal of emergency 9-1-1 telephone assessment and a millage increase for Southwestern Michigan College.
The emergency 9-1-1 Central Dispatch Center renewal is for a $1.90 per month assessment on telephone bills for three years, 2007-10.
The main source of revenue for the operation and maintenance of the 9-1-1 dispatch center is the assessment on telephone bills.
The current assessment expires on Dec. 31.
The ballot asks whether Cass County shall renew its current funding of the Emergency 9-1-1 Central Dispatch Center by assessing telephone customers up to a maximum of 16 percent of the highest monthly base rate charged for a single-party basic telephone service.
The current assessment is $1.90 per month.
The money collected shall be used exclusively for the operation and maintenance of the emergency 9-1-1 Central Dispatch Center.
In 2005, the Emergency 9-1-1 system was upgraded to allow for faster processing of 9-1-1- calls and to help locate cellular 9-1-1 calls.
In December of 2005, Cass County received its first cellular Phase II 9-1-1 call that showed the location of the cellular caller.
Cassopolis Public Schools is asking voters to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property except principal residence and qualified agricultural property required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance.
In Porter and Mason townships, a public safety proposal is on the ballot by the Southeast Public Safety Authority to levy 2.25 mills ($2.25 per $1,000 of taxable value) for seven years, 2006-12) for the purpose of providing funds for the purchase of equipment and operation of fire and emergency medical services by the Southeast Public Safety Authority.
It is estimated that 2.25 mills will raise $468,014 in its first year.
Currently EMS is provided by tax and state revenue sharing funds.
Marcellus Township has a millage renewal proposal on the ballot for one mill on each dollar ($1 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for six years, 2007-12) for the purpose of providing funds for the purchase and maintenance of equipment for fire and ambulance service through the Marcellus Area Emergency Services Association.
The current one mill expires in 2006.
The total estimated revenue to be generated in its first year is $54,157.34.
SMC is requesting a 0.854 ($0.854 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for 15 years, 2006-20) to support nursing and human services programs, provide information technology training and certification, support job training and ongoing operational funding and for all other purposes authorized by law.
The total estimated revenue to be generated in its first year is $1,350,000.
In Howard Township, voters will be asked to decide on a request of 1.25 mills ($1.25 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the period of 2006 through 2011. The township shall levy such millage for said purpose thereby raising in the first year an estimated $193,000.[ok]