Source: Sherman Publications

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Addison fire chief makes pitch for tax renewal/increase

by Trevor Keiser

October 31, 2012

As voters head to the polls on Nov. 6, the Addison Township Fire Department is looking for voter support on their .75 millage.

"The millage was originally voted in 2006 for 0.75 mills, but due to Headlee Amendment rollbacks, it is now at 0.7437," said Fire Chief Jerry Morawski. "We want to increase that back to 0.75 mills (which is) the original voted amount (from) 2006."

The department is asking that the current 0.7473 millage, which expires in December 2013, be increased by 0.0027 up to the original 0.75 amount and levied for five years 2014-2018 inclusive. A mill is worth $1 for every $1,000 of a property's taxable value.

In this case, the millage renewal/increase equates to 75 cents for every $1,000 of taxable value. On a home with a taxable value of $100,000, the total requested millage equates to $75 per year, while the requested increase amounts to only 27 cents.

If approved the millage would raise $207,019 in the first year.

Morawski said the millage is used for all operating costs of the fire department, including payroll, medical supplies, heat and utilities, as well as office supplies.

"We've had great support from our residents throughout the years," he said. "The fire department is pretty proud of that commitment by our residents."

One of the things Morawski said they've worked hard at is keeping their ISO (Insurance Service Office) at good levels. On a Scale of 1-to-10 (1 being the best and 10 being the worst) they've received a 5 in the township and a 3 in the Village, which is the lowest in Michigan for an area lacking fire hydrants.

"We don't have any hydrants and we have accomplished a (rating of) 3 (in the village). That's because of all our hard work and dedication of record keeping," he said. "I want the residents to know we are trying to do our share to save the residents in their fire insurance premiums."

Currently the fire department has five full-time and 22 on-call firefighters.

"We're very grateful (for) what the residents have given us and we're not asking for anything more. We've cut our budgets and we've maintained through the economical times, but we definitely need this (0.0027-mill increase)," added Morawski. "We wouldn't be able to maintain if we don't have this millage, that's for sure."