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November Election 2018: Washtenaw County Millage Renewal Proposal Makes 'Parks System Possible'

Nov 5, 2018

Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Logo
Credit Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County residents will have the opportunity to vote for an ongoing millage renewal to fund the parks and nature preserves in the county on November 6th.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry reports on what the issue involves.


Coy Vaughn, director of Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation
Credit Coy Vaughn

Coy Vaughn, director of Washtenaw County Parks, says the first millage was approved by county residents in 1976 and has been renewed by voters every ten years since then.  The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation director says a YES vote on the ten-year renewal will generate close to $4 million per year for county park acquisition and development.

Washtenaw County Parks proponents point to independent national research that shows the availability of parks and recreational opportunities are major contributors to the quality of life experienced by residents of a community.

Vaughn says developing parks and supporting programs are the main benefits from the millage renewal and breaks down how much it would cost county homeowners if it wins approval, around $30 a year.  He says if it isn’t approved, cutbacks are likely. 

The ten-year, one-quarter mil parks renewal will help fund the just-opened new state park and county preserve, as well as support another park in the works for Superior Township and helps fund the Border-to-Border Trail across the county. 

Vaughn says, ultimately, it’s up to the voters to decide if the parks system is important to them and worth continuing the investment as this is a millage renewal.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu