At Tuesday’s meeting, the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ask voters for 1 mill more of tax to help the police department survive.
It will be on the ballot for the May 3 election and is expected to bring in $335,000 the first year levied.
Last fall, the voters approved a renewal of 2 mills for police.
Supervisor Johnny Vawters said if officials would have know the true impact of the cutting of Canadian trash to the landfill and what it and other state cuts would have been, they would have asked for the additional mill last fall.
He said a total of $770,000 was verbally quoted as the amount expected to be lost from landfill royalties, but more than $300,000 already has been lost since November.
The proposed 1 mill will run concurrently with the 2 other police mills for 5 years, 2011-2015, making a total of 3 mills levied for police protection, operation, and maintenance.
Supervisor Vawters, at times in tears, said he doesn’t want to sit at the board table and watch the township go into receivership without giving the voters a chance to decide on the millage. He estimated it will cost the average Sumpter resident 15 cents a day more in taxes and conceded that some residents may not be able to afford that 15 cents. He said the township has to ask.
Sumpter Township residents also pay 1 mill for fire protection and .7 mill for the district library, along with the 1 mill township tax and other county levies.
Vawters said police and dispatch could be severely impacted if the millage doesn’t pass and noted that police is the township’s first line of defense.
He said there is hope that the 10,000 homes that are being torn down in Detroit may be brought to the landfill in Sumpter for disposal, which could help.