Breitung Township Board keeps same tax rate

QUINNESEC — Breitung Township will keep its tax rate at 4.2 mills, or $4.20 per $1,000 of taxable value, in the 2019 fiscal year despite a push Monday from some township board members to reduce the amount to 4 mills.

The 5-2 vote had Township Clerk Samantha Neuens, Township Treasurer Carol Taylor and trustees David Soderbloom, Brent Johnson and Aaron Rochon in favor of the 4.2 figure, and Township Supervisor Denny Olson and Trustee Rich Wales opposed.

Wales suggested dropping the rate to 4 mills to give taxpayers a break. Olson agreed, citing a “sizable” general fund balance and equipment balances.

But Taylor and Neuens were quick to point out the “unknowns” in the 2019 budget, including just how much money the township will receive from the state.

Reducing the tax rate could be a discussion for next year, Taylor said. Neuens added she believed it’s more difficult to raise the tax rate once it drops.

Charter townships can levy up to 4.9 mills, but Breitung Township has been at 4.2 mills for many years, Township Superintendent John Gaudette said. The 4.2 rate will generate an estimated $1.18 million in 2019, which should be sufficient if state revenue sharing comes in as projected, he added.

In other business, the board:

— Submitted a formal request to the Dickinson County Road Commission to conduct a traffic and speed study on Campbell Street between the Iron Mountain city limit and Breitung Avenue.

Residents have expressed concern about high speeds and near-collisions on the route, according to a resolution passed by the board. A construction project planned for 2019 makes now “the ideal time to express our speed and design concerns,” the resolution states.

— Allowed the township’s fire department to submit an application for a $200,000 grant to replace self-contained breathing apparatuses and air cylinders. If the department receives the grant, the township will have to contribute a 5 percent match.

— Appointed Gaudette to the Central Landfill Authority that meets annually to review Michigan Department of Environmental Quality post-closure compliance reports, direct any corrective actions and approve financial statements for the closed landfill at Breitung Cutoff and Hydraulic Falls roads.

Nikki Younk can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 41, or