Local issues to be featured on March 8 ballots

LAKE COUNTY — Along with the presidential primary, the election on Tuesday, March 8, will have five local ballot proposals for some of Lake County's residents to vote on.

Yates Township residents will be voting to extend a one-mill ($1 of every taxable $1,000 of income) road millage for the next 10 years. If accepted, this money will go towards road maintenance throughout Yates Township.

"This is a continuation of the current road millage we have had for Yates Township," said Yates Clerk Romayne Hollis-Raines. "This measure will allow us to continue improving the roads in our community, which will, in turn, help raise our property values."

Peacock Township residents will be voting on whether to accept an additional half-mill collection to its current half-mill millage collection. If accepted, the increase would last until 2021.

"We have been dipping into our fund balance in recent years, and we are trying to balance the budget," said Peacock Township Supervisor Marsha Bouwkamp. "I don't intend to be supervisor for five more years, and with the costs of the zoning work we're planning, so assuming the measure passes, we're not sure if we will want to keep it at a full one mill or go back down to a half mill when this expires in 2021."

Peacock residents also will be voting to renew a general operating millage of a half-mill until 2021 to help fund the township's yearly budget as well as a third measure which would renew a one-mill millage to provide fire service for Peacock Township. Bouwkamp said both of these millages are just renewals of what residents are currently paying and both are crucial to keeping township services intact, particularly the fire service millage.

"We have a five-year contract with the Webber Township Fire Department for fire protection," remarked Bouwkamp. "Without this mill renewal, we would have to take the money out of our fund balance because our citizens need fire department service and the department is counting on money from our township for its budget."

The last proposal is a renewal of an operating millage for the Kaleva Norman Dickson School District. Only certain residents of Elk Township will vote on the measure.

"It's a renewal of the operating millage for the next six years," explained Kris Mauntler, director of finance for the Kaleva Norman Dickson School District. "It will mean no new taxes, just a renewal of the 18 mills residents currently pay into the district."