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County millages pass for MCC, MSU Extension

November 06, 2013 - Atlas Twp.-On Wednesday morning, Ray Porter was one happy apple grower.

The core of his happiness stems from Genesee County voters approving by 16 percent—22,151 yes to 18,610 no votes— a four-year, 0.04 mill property tax for the MSU Extension-Genesee County. The millage will cost taxpayers with a $100,000 home about $2 per year supporting agriculture 4-H, master gardener and area nutrition programs.

"The millage is a major relief for our business," said Porter, a third generation apple grower and owner of Porter's Orchard,12060 Hegel Road. "The information provided by the MSU Extension and the MSU Horticultural Society is imperative to our business. It makes our and other agricultural businesses more effective. It's a valuable resource that will ultimately impact area businesses."

Voters also approved—24,390 yes to 17,551 no—the renewal of a Mott Community College bond that will allow the school to borrow about $50 million during the next several years. This proposal will cost taxpayers a rate of 0.87 of a mill or about $43.50 per year on a $100,000 home.

Flint-based Mott Community College attracts the most students from any school in the Genesee Intermediate School District, said Larry Gawthrop, MCC chief financial officer.

"Currently there are more than $85 million in deferred repairs to the facilities at Mott Community College," he said on Wednesday following the election. "First we need to prioritize the needs and then go from there."

"The money will not only be used for technology upgrades for students which includes computers, but also remote classrooms," he continued. "We have a wide range of audiences that now require network computer replacements. The equipment becomes outdated and it only lasts so long. Education is changing and as one of the top community colleges in the nation we must keep moving forward."

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