A handful of major projects in Green Oak Township are expected to be underway in the coming year; however officials are still grappling with the best way to fund them.
The township’s Board of Trustees met Wednesday for a special meeting to discuss a financial plan for various projects that are either underway or are on the horizon. The board is looking at several expenditures planned in the coming year, including Silver Lake Road work, additional parking spaces and a new metal roof for township hall, the M-36 and Lemen Road Trail, and traffic improvement work for their share to construct a roundabout at Winans Lake and Rickett Road. The total cost of those projects combined is roughly $2.1 million. The township will also need to purchase a new ladder truck for its fire department and is in the design process for a new fire station. Together, those two expenditures have an early estimated total of $7.9 million.
Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles says planning for these projects is difficult because the municipality has a strong fund balance at the end of tax season, but officials must then be financially responsible to make sure that money carries the township through the entire next fiscal year.
One option the board is considering is a Headlee Override, which would restore the township’s authorized millage amount that has been reduced by the Headlee Amendment. The township currently has a millage rate of .8222 mills, but officials discussed restoring it to the original 1 mill to aid in the projects’ funding. Should they move forward with the idea, St. Charles says officials will educate the public about why they’re restoring the original millage amount and what the revenue generated would be used for.
Wednesday’s special meeting kicked off discussions, so the board has not made a final decision on how they will fund the projects. Ultimately St. Charles says, “Whatever we do, we want to be transparent.” (DK)