City of Fennville: City seeks to restore millage

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

The City of Fennville is seeking to reinstate 15 mills to restore the original charter millage established by voters in 1961. Since then the millage has been reduced to 12.4001 mills due to required rollbacks.

The increase of approximately 2.4 mills would cost a taxpayer with a $120,000 market value home, about $155 annually and provide about $58,358 in revenue for city operating funds.

City council member Tom Pantellaria said the request is to preserve what essential services the city now has and to avert a financial crisis three to four years in the future.

“Due to the economic slowdown, property values went down and then state revenue sharing decreased and with what little comeback there has been, it’s too slow to recover our deficit spending,” he said. “We have no more savings for emergencies.”

Pantellaria said as the millage decreased, so have city services.

“We had to eliminate spring cleanup services, restrict pay increases, departments have come up with creative ways to reduce costs and we hired our own police because it was cheaper than contracting,” he said. “This millage won’t add anything back—it will stabilize what essential services we have now before we end up in dire straits.”
The operating millage pays for police, fire, ambulance, parks and recreation, sidewalk maintenance, yard waste pickup and other services. If the millage does not pass, those services will be reduced, Pantellaria said.

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