An Oakland Press article on Safety Path Millage:
I wrote a COMMENT at the end of the article. You can do the same if you go to the link above. Below comment is similar to what I wrote.... however, I added or changed the language here.
The Township Safety Path is "only 80% complete"..... because the township has not spent all the money collected since 1998. Why? At the end of the fiscal year March 31, 2014 there was $2,673,640.00 in the "fund" ...which can ONLY be spent on safety paths. However, the BUDGET page makes NO MENTION of this existing "fund".
The township FOIA document of this "fund" (found in the text of this link) says that there will be estimated $2,745,757 at the March 31, 2015 fiscal year end. ONLY ONE PROBLEM.... the millage expired in 2013. NO MONEY can be collected in 2014 unless the millage passes. Vote NO. Spend the $2.7 million first.
There is still over $2.6 MILLION to be spent from the savings in the fund. The township is planning to spend only $731,559 this year (June 23, 2014 meeting) ( and the 2014 proposed project on Maple Rd. path is on the same stretch of road as an EXISTING path on the other side of the road). That Maple Rd. project costs seem to be more drainage repair than concrete sidewalk @ $469,315 for 0.7 mile safety path.
This millage question CAN WAIT until the November 2016 elections where all money issues should be on the ballot. Therefore, VOTE NO.
Another troubling issue with the safety path millage... is that the township has (now and last year) placed an EMPLOYEE wage package to be paid by the millage money. The amount with benefits, etc. is approx. $53,383. Will they add more employee wages to this account? Who knows. The township leadership does whatever they want. That could mean winter maintenance and VERY high costs and liability to the taxpayers. This is NOT a department of the township.
The safety path millage budget... seems to have other strange expenditures listed....
$3000 misc./ $7500 tax/write off/ an astonishing $350,000 for engineering... R& M.. for $75,000.
At the February 2014 Study Session, many of our township leadership wanted to do winter maintenance and many wanted to change the safety path millage to include road repair. EGADS... high costs and high liability for winter maintenance... and there already is an existing 1 mill ROAD millage...and the road department budget is over $4 Million a year already. Here they are looking for MORE $$$ for roads. Fortunately, the road part got left out... but the winter maintenance issue will be REVISITED by the leadership IF this millage passes. VOTE NO.
In my opinion, the township needs to find as many ways to get taxpayer money... because the wages/ health benefits/ and pensions are out of control. STOP the insanity. Vote NO now.