Parks, library and roads funding on ballot


GOODLAND TWP. — Come August, voters will be asked to consider three millage proposals on the primary ballot.

In all, township officials want residents to weigh in on funding measures for Goodland’s parks, roads and library.

• • • • •

The ‘Millage for Operation and Maintenance of Township Parks and Historical School Building’ would levy one half-mill for four years, 2020 to 2023, and generate approximately $34,225 in the first year.

Supervisor Ron Cischke said the township would use millage funds to update their park plan, put up fencing and work on restoring the Flansburgh historic schoolhouse.

“We were fortunate to get a grant from the state to purchase our park property. In order to apply for grants you need to have a park plan in place and it needs to be updated every five years. Our plan is due to be updated in December,” Cischke said.

In late 2016, Goodland received a $67,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to purchase adjacent property for a future park.

To date, funds spent on the Flansburgh school have come from donations.

“We’ve got a lot of people pushing us to get it done,” he said.

In 2017, the building was moved from its original location at Shaw and Wheeling roads to the township hall on M-53. The township’s plan is to house their archives in the former school along with a one-room school house display that’s currently in the library, with the potential for it to be rented out for family gatherings and meetings.

• • • • •

The ‘Millage for Maintenance and Improvement of Local Roads’ calls for a one-mill, four-year arrangement that would collect $68,450 in the first year.

The township has put a roads millage before voters several times in recent years but it’s been defeated—sometimes narrowly—each time.

“At every board meeting we talk about roads,” Supervisor Ron Cischke said of 53 miles that are the township’s responsibility.

Currently, the township only has enough money to apply one brine to its dirt roads every year plus one roadside mowing.

“There are always crosstubes to replace and the need for additional gravel,” he said of the board’s decision to seek additional funds.

If Lapeer County pursues a road millage later this year and it passes, Cischke said Goodland would not levy theirs if they also had a millage on the books.

• • • • •

The ‘Goodland Township Library Millage Proposal’ would levy .9 mills for a period of six years, 2021 to 2026. That constitutes the renewal of the .8777 mills previously approved by voters and .0223 in new additional millage. If approved, it would generate about $61,000 in the first year it’s levied.

The Goodland Township Library left the Lapeer District Library in 2011 and has been independently operating since then. Voters first approved a .9 mill proposal in 2013.

The library features a collection of books and other materials, offers storytime for children and traditionally hosts special guests or performers as part of their summer reading program. Many of those programs have been impacted by COVID-19 closures.