Berkley voters will decide on millage tax for new community center come Nov. 6

Posted at 10:18 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 22:21:56-04

On Nov. 6, residents in Berkley will be voting on a tax millage for a brand new community center with all the bells and whistles.

But, not everyone thinks the new community center is a good idea, especially for the cost. Berkley resident Josh Hunter says the cost of the center is way too much.

"This much debt over 20 years is going to be a burden," Hunter said. 

But other residents like Jes Alger say the city of Berkley is growing and needs something that works for everyone in the community.

"Berkley is an amazing community and is growing and thriving," Alger said.

The city is asking for a 1$.63 millage tax to cover the cost of the bond to build the $15 million community center over the next 20 years. However, the amount you pay can vary depending on the taxable value of your home.

"Realistically when you break it down to a monthly payment that’s $10 a month for a community center and a whole campus of reconstruction," Alger said. 

If voters say yes, residents can enjoy the 38,000-square-foot center with a gym, indoor track, and multipurpose rooms and space for teens and seniors.

"The community center itself is going to be about $8 million of it, the other $7 million is to redo the parking lots to increase storm water management," Alger said. 

Years ago, the city shut down its ice arena. Since then, it's fallen to the waist side. Some residents say this new center isn’t worth the cost. 

"It really comes down to a matter of priorities," Hunter said. "This is a small city and we have a lot of other obligations right now, pensions, roads need a lot of work."

The new added tax could cost homeowners hundreds of dollars a year. The higher your home tax value, the more you'll pay. Folks say it’s just too much.

"Absolutely, we need a recreation center but we need one that fits the city and within the city’s budget," Hunter said.

If voters say yes to the tax millage, the first year would be a .88 millage tax.