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Novi asks voters to approve millage for projects

Posted: 6:14 PM, Jun 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-17 10:47:34-04

Novi is asking voters if they would like to approve a new millage. It comes after a previous millage ended, lowering taxes. 

City leaders say if voters are willing to approve it, they would use the new millage to accomplish numerous projects.

“It was time, with our 2/3 of a mill falling off, to ask the voters if they want to approve a one mill capital improvement millage to fund $97 million worth of projects,” said Carl Johnson, Novi CFO.

The millage would be collected over the course of ten years. It would cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $100 a year. It would collect about $3.2 million a year, helping the city to accomplish about $97 million worth of planned projects.

There are many projects in the plan. They include a plan to update aging buildings and spend more than $7 million on new fire trucks and moving the fire station on Grand River, just east of Novi Road, to a new location.

“We want to move it out of the downtown area,” said Johnson.

Plus, the city wants to use about $3 million to renovate Lakeshore Park.

One of the most costly parts of the plan is getting rid of a 50-year-old building where there are bathrooms and a room for a summer camp. The plan is to replace it with a 4,800 square-foot building at the current  entrance of the park.

“Our priority is on the kids and using it for our kids programs,” said Novi Parks and Rec Director Jeff Muck.

Right now the City’s Lakeshore Summer Camp is crammed into the small building when shelter is needed.

"Because of the limited space, we’re constantly turning kids away from that program,” said Muck.

He says if the millage is approved the camp could serve more kids, there could be community education and fitness classes on the city’s north side, and possibly a satellite library set up.

But some people aren’t on board.

Some neighbors who live near the park say the new building is a banquet center, which is against city ordinance.

The city says no. While it plans to offer room rentals, there would be no kitchen for banquets.

“It could be used for community meetings, a polling location, baby showers, bridal showers. We’re not talking large weddings or events,” said Muck.

“We don’t need any more tourists,” said Bill Krause, who lives a few doors down from the park.

He and others who live nearby say their biggest fear is the popular park will get more popular, making their street congested.
 
“Traffic control, my fanny,” said Krause. "Now we got everybody coming through.”

If the millage doesn’t pass, the city says it won’t be able to do non-essential projects.

The city wants to do many Capital Improvement Projects.  You can read more about them at https://cip.cityofnovi.org/ .

The millage will be on the ballot in August.