Video: Township Takes No Action on Special Assessment Ballot Proposal
Approval would have put question on ballot to create special assessment district to preserve current level of fire service in Plymouth Township.
The Plymouth Township Board of Trustees took no action Tuesday on a ballot proposal that, if approved, would put a tax issue on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Jennifer Mann of the Citizens Action Group of Plymouth Township submitted 3,415 signatures on a petition on Aug. 16 to create a special assessment district where residents would be levied one mill, or approximately $150 per year, to continue the level of fire services they have now for five years.
The township's fire agreement with the City of Plymouth for shared services will dissolve on Jan. 1, 2012, as the city partners with the City of Northville. According to Mann, the department will lose the ability to provide EMS services after the agreement dissolves.
According to the township, the petition failed to account for 10 percent of the township's land. According to a map provided by the township, 8.8868 percent of the township was covered without condominiums included because of questionable land ownership statuses with those residences. The total amount of township land excluded tax-exempt properties, such as schools, churches and township-owned land.
The at-times heated special meeting at Plymouth Township Hall had audience members standing in the back and several audience members engaging board members in back-and-forth debate.
Township Attorney Timothy Cronin told trustees that even though the petition did not meet the minimum requirements, they could still vote at their discretion to send it to the county for ballot consideration. The board took no action on the issue.
Earlier in the meeting, Cronin cautioned board and audience members that if approved, a statute states that in a specal assessment district, fees could reach as high as 10 mills if future board members decide to vote for increases. The public, Cronin said, wouldn't be able to vote on future increases.
After the meeting, Mann said she was "disappointed," but wouldn't rule out rushing to take action to meet the Aug. 30 ballot deadline to try to get the question on the Nov. 8 ballot. She said she would consult with her group's lawyers to explore her options.