Niles Twp. mulls road millage for August ballot

Published 9:12 am Friday, May 8, 2015

Niles Charter Township residents might have to decide if having better roads is worth raising taxes.

Clerk Terry Eull said the township’s board of trustees is considering placing a road millage on the ballot of a special election in August.

More details will be shared at a special board meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the township hall.

Eull said the failure of a state proposal to fix roads Tuesday prompted the board to take action.

Ballot language, he said, must be submitted to the county clerk by Tuesday if it is to appear on the August ballot.

“That’s the reason we are doing this so quickly,” he said.

“We’ve been talking about roads for years now, so we decided we would give people the opportunity to pay a little bit more and have better roads,” he said.

Eull said the township receives road-related complaints from residents multiple times a day, even though the township is not responsible for maintaining township roads. That responsibility falls on the Berrien County

Road Commission.

“Supervisor (Jim Stover) is constantly bombarded with complaints and we get complaints at our meetings,” he said. “We just feel if we can go for a millage and get something, maybe we can at least try to do something about. Nothing is being done right now.”

A representative of the county road commission is expected to attend today’s meeting, along with residents who have been vocal about roads in the past.

Township officials haven’t decided yet on the size of the road millage, but Eull said a 1-mill increase would raise about $350,000.