Commissioners approve millage request for road commission

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved ballot language for a millage request being sought this spring by the county road commission.
At stake May 3 will be a request of up to 2.5 mills, which would yield more than $5.4 million annually over a 10-year period. Road commission members last month approved a plan that would call for allocating 0.5 mills to improvement, maintenance, and repair of local and primary roads, with the balance being distributed to the county’s townships based on their taxable value.
Reacting to the request, Sherman Township Supervisor Bruce Bart told commissioners the matter is critical for the good of St. Joseph County.
He said the focus now falls on informing the county’s voters about the May request.
The road commission in August 2014 received voter-approval for renewal of 1 mill for a 10-year period. The mill generates about $1.9 million annually for general road maintenance. A request for an additional two mills, however, was defeated by a 56 to 44 percent margin.
Commissioner Robin Baker cast the dissenting vote against the ballot language. He said the amount being sought is too much and the 10-year period for which it is being sought is too long.

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