Dickinson needs higher tax rate to be on Bay board

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County is unlikely to gain voting representation on the Bay College Board of Trustees, as that would require a substantial increase in the property tax levy.

Dickinson County commissioners Monday discussed legal advice given during a special meeting of the Bay College Board. To gain voting power on the community college board, Dickinson’s levy would have to match that of Delta County but at present it’s much lower, Commissioner Joe Stevens said.

Commissioners agreed that a levy as high as Delta County’s would be a tall order for Dickinson County. Dickinson’s current Bay property tax levy of 0.9987 mills, or slightly less than $1 per $1,000 of taxable value, will be up for renewal in 2025. Delta County, historically, has levied about 3.3 mills.

Options for Dickinson representation, including the possibility of two non-voting liaison members, will be discussed by a nine-member advisory board that serves the Iron Mountain campus.

Founded in Escanaba in 1963, Bay College is governed by a seven-member board elected by voters in Delta County.

Property tax support from Dickinson County began in 2007 in conjunction with the opening of the Iron Mountain campus.

Nerita Hughes, Bay College college president, told Dickinson commissioners during a Dec. 11 meeting that voting representation would be explored as a first priority.

In other action, the county board:

— Heard Controller Brian Bousley report he’s pursuing $35,000 in Risk Avoidance Program grants from Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. The list includes fire suppression for a hangar being built at Ford Airport, keyless entry both for the hangar and the county’s new medical examiner building, and a computer security program.

— Approved a request from Sheriff Scott Rutter and jail administrator Lt. Jason Conery to hire Lilly Mora as a corrections officer at a pay scale of $23.998 cents per hour, due to her previous experience as a supervisor in corrections in Bell County, Texas. Otherwise, the starting rate would be $20.887 per hour.

— Approved hiring Natalie Andersen as Dickinson County 95B District Court deputy magistrate.


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