Wakefield Township adopts ballot millage language

By ZACHARY MARANO zmarano@yourdailyglobe.com

WAKEFIELD – The Wakefield Township Board adopted the proposed language for the millage renewal on the Aug. 2 ballot at their regular meeting on Tuesday. The proposal asks that the township collect three mills – $3 per $1,000 of taxable property value – for 2023-2026 for general township operations.

Wakefield Township Clerk Jennifer Ahonen said that the millage will levy an estimated $107,121 in the first year. She said the millage rate has neither increased nor decreased from previous years. The board also approved an Internal Revenue Service mileage rate increase from $0.585 to $0.625 per mile, effective immediately. Ahonen said that the board will use this higher rate to calculate the deductible costs for business travel and certain other purposes. She said that the IRS adjusted this rate due to increasing fuel prices.

Ahonen proposed increasing the internet reimbursement rate for board members to reflect the greater costs of internet usage in the western Upper Peninsula, but the board tabled this item because township board supervisor Mandy Lake was absent at Tuesday’s meeting. They agreed to consider this again at a meeting where Lake is present.

The board received and placed on file a letter from the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department, which expressed the department’s gratitude for the township’s contribution of $7,500. According to the letter that Ahonen read aloud at the meeting, the volunteer fire department used contributions from the township, city of Wakefield and the pipeline company Enbridge to purchase new battery-operated extraction equipment. The letter said that battery-operated extraction equipment will significantly decrease extraction times, require fewer personnel to operate and allow the department to perform interior structure extractions.

The volunteer fire department’s extraction equipment will arrive in the middle of the month, according to the letter. The letter invited the board and area residents to see the department demonstrate the new equipment at an undetermined date after they have finished training in its use. The board renewed their Michigan Township Participating Plan membership through July 1, 2023. According to the Par Plan website, the plan provides public entities with insurance solutions and a voice in municipal coverage. Ahonen said that this year’s premium was $4,964, an $160 increase from 2021. She said that the increase in coverage reflected replacement costs.

Although Lake was absent, she left a note for the board saying that a total of 5.43 tons were collected in dumpsters during the township’s spring cleanup.

The board also:

–Appointed election supervisors for the Aug. 2 primary election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Township Hall.

–Rescheduled their next regular meeting from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. because of the primary election.