Voters in Eastpointe and Hazel Park approved an Emergency Services Millage request that will provide the funding necessary to maintain fire department and police department staffing at current levels for the next two decades.
The 14-mill request was approved by an overall vote total of 2,218 to 1,252 by voters in both communities as part of a funding partnership between Eastpointe and Hazel Park known as the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority (S.M.O.R.S.A.)
In Eastpointe, voters approved the request on a 1,602 to 1,025 vote, while voters in Hazel Park approved the request on a 616 to 227 vote.
At an average cost of $347 per household in Eastpointe, the Emergency Services Millage request becomes effective with the summer 2015 tax bills. The Emergency Services Millage will raise an estimated $5.8 million annually for Eastpointe and will allow the city to avoid layoffs and a significant budget deficit beginning in 2016.
“While I can never proclaim that property owners paying more taxes is a good thing, a very important and necessary historical decision was made in Eastpointe today,” says City Manager Steve Duchane. “Our residents used the democratic process to support our local police and fire response system, which have been the core services of government since colonial times.”
In addition, the funding will allow Eastpointe to replace emergency equipment as needed and examine ways to increase fire and police personnel when possible.
“Given nothing but funding obstacles from the state government miles away in Lansing, this city, its elected officials, first responders and, most importantly our voters, said “we have this” by reinvesting in our community. Our team is committed to providing a safe city, efficient government, great neighborhoods and a healthy local economy in a place that is Eastpointe.”