Commissioners approve placing veteran millage on ballot
LAKE COUNTY — During the Lake County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday evening, which was hosted at Elk Township Hall, commissioners unanimously approved placing a millage for veteran services on the November ballot.
This would be Lake County’s first millage for veterans, and levy one-tenth of 1 mill for a veterans service office.
“This millage should bring in $52,000 a year give or take, and will be levied beginning in 2019 if it passes,” said Lake County Administrator Tobi Lake.
Commissioners have been waiting to see the outcome of House Bill No. 5536 which gives $25,000 to each county with a veterans service office. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday, June 28.
“We have been working on services for veterans a year and a half, but we wanted to see if we could get the $25,000 as offered in the House bill,” said Commissioner Chris Balulis.
To receive the $25,000 funding, the veterans service building would have to be open at least 20 hours a week, Lake added. Some of those funds can be used for operation. If the millage passes, a committee made up of commissioners would oversee operations and would look into staffing.
Dave Woodman, post commander of VFW Post No. 5315, is grateful to have a millage request for veterans services come before voters.
“I am representing 500 veterans from the post. This will allow the veterans the help and care they deserve. Thank you,” he said.
Commissioner Joan Runnels said she was glad the board finally approved going forward with helping veterans. She thanked Nicollette McClure, who worked diligently to advocate for veterans services in the county.
Commissioner John Brunn thanked Elk Township Supervisor Lou Fitz for hosting the commissioner meeting at Elk Township Hall.
Quarterly, commissioners conduct evening meetings at a different host municipality to encourage attendance throughout various locations in the county and to welcome people to come who aren’t available to attend the monthly morning meetings at the courthouse.