Otsego fire truck millage fails
By Daniel Pepper
Otsego’s fire truck millage was approved by a majority of voters, but that wasn’t enough, as the city charter required a supermajority for it to pass.
The city had 1,592 people vote in the election so 956 voters would have had to say yes. Only 762 did so, with 756 saying no.
City manager Thad Beard said, “It’s too bad, because the township is ready to go and we’ll have to put them on hold.”
The city was seeking an average of .39 mills for five years, attempting to raise $200,000 toward a $556,000 new fire truck. The city and Otsego Township share the fire department and would split the cost of the new truck. It would replace a truck that is 20 years old.
Beard said the 60 percent requirement in the city charter wasn’t widely known.
“Plenty of people had talked to me and said ‘congratulations,’” he said.
The city will have to determine how to raise the money needed.
“It’s kind of early for that,” Beard said. “The city commission will have to determine their objectives. I’m presuming we’ll have to pursue it again, as we don’t have the money to buy a truck.”
The loss surprised Beard, he said.
“I was surprised, because we hadn’t had any negative feedback that I’d heard of it,” Beard said. “It seemed well-received and people we talked to seemed like they understood it.
“The need does not go away.”
In other election results, Otsego Township got a new supervisor in Bryan F. Winn who was elected over Harold Immekus by a vote of 921 to 790.
That board overall will have three new faces, as it expands from five members to seven. New trustees Charles R. Cushman and Lori Morrell-Bumgart were elected after running unopposed.
Plainwell school district voters decided to return incumbent Jennifer Loftus and chose newcomers John E. Artz and Scott Corbin.
Gun Plain Township will have a new treasurer in Annette Horton and a new trustee in Arron Morehouse. Both were unopposed in the general election after winning the Republican nomination at the August primary.
Contact Dan Pepper at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.