Conservation District to seek tax levy

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Dickinson Conservation District will seek approval in November of a new tax levy to support programs that include forestry, water protection, wildlife habitat and invasive species protection.

The five-year request is for 0.1 mills, or 10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, which would raise an estimated $89,000 in its first year in 2019. The county board on Monday approved placing the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The Dickinson Conservation District was organized in 1948 to assist farmers and landowners in conservation practices, particularly soil conservation and management. Today, the district pursues a variety of projects under a five-member board of directors elected by county landowners.

Voters in August 2016 rejected a similar millage request, 3,643 no to 1,829 yes.

Also Monday, Commissioner John Degenaer Jr. reported Pinecrest Medical Care Facility in Powers won’t seek a millage proposal in November but may instead pursue one next year.

In May, the Dickinson board rejected a request from Pinecrest to place a millage on the Aug. 7 ballot, with the majority of commissioners saying they’d rather see a vote in November. That decision effectively voided August ballot measures planned in Delta and Menominee counties. Pinecrest, which is jointly owned by the three counties, is a 140-bed facility that provides medical care, Alzheimer’s care, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Four county-wide millages will be on the Aug. 7 ballot, all renewals. They are:

— 0.4 mills, or 40 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, for three years to operate and equip the county’s enhanced 911 system.

— 0.9 mills, or 90 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, for five years to operate and maintain the Dickinson County Library.

— 0.25 mills, or 25 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, for five years to operate and maintain senior centers and programs; and 0.15 mills for five years, also to operate and maintain senior centers and programs. For election purposes, the two senior millages are kept separate, even though both are renewals. The total levy was first increased from 0.25 mills to 0.4 mills in 2004.

In other action Monday, the board:

— Approved a county match of 10 percent for grant-funded Ford Airport projects totaling nearly $19,000. The Michigan Department of Transportation contracts are for airport awareness projects, along with a parking lot expansion completed this spring.

— Approved a request from EAA Chapter 439 to hold Ford Airport Days from Sept. 13-15 at Ford Airport.

— Heard Controller Brian Bousley report the courthouse elevator is temporarily shut down, with the cost for repairs set at $5,600.