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Tuesday's vote could affect emergency services
PENNFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Calhoun County township may soon have to make drastic cuts to their emergency services.
Pennfield Township leaders are working to meet a huge budget deficit. They say the only way to do that is to ask the public for a millage increase. They're hoping everyone will share their voice in a vote Tuesday.
Pennfield is asking for its first increase to cover police and fire in 35 years. Officials say theyre in this boat because of state revenue reductions and decreasing property value.
It's very serious. I don't like the thought of it, part-time firefighter Andy Halder says. He knows what's at stake during about 900 emergency calls Pennfield takes each year and what could happen if three full-time firefighters and two deputies are cut because of a growing deficit.
Right now, even as we speak we have a firefighter ready to go, and you just cant beat that, Halder says.
That's why a new vote is being held Tuesday -- whether or not to pass a millage to generate about $290,000 to stay afloat.
And that's roughly what the township's been supplementing for five years, and the townships saying, Hey, we can't do that.
The same millage was 24 votes shy of passing in May. One more try, Halder says, would cost the average Pennfield homeowner about $6 more a month to keep the emergency response they have.
Whether you vote yes or no, we encourage anyone to vote, Halder says.
The township supervisor supports the millage because he doesn't want to have to make these cuts if he doesn't have to.