By Judy Reed
The City passed a resolution last Thursday, July 12, directing their attorney, Jeff Sluggett, to draft ballot language for the November 6 election. The proposal would ask for .25 mills (a quarter of a mill) per household. That would be about $25 per year for someone that owns a $100,000 house.
“I’d gladly pay a couple of dollars of month to fund some of these community events,” said Councilor Neil Gomez. “It would be great to have a little more money in a strained budget.”
Councilor Pat Capek agreed that helping fund community events would be a good way to boost the community’s image. “I think there’s a lot of ways we can boost the community’s image with not a lot of money and this is one of them.”
All funding for community events was cut last year to help balance the city’s budget.
If the millage goes on the ballot and passes, it would bring in about $17,929 for community events.
The Red Flannel Festival, who has been trying to work out a fee agreement with the city over trademark use, spoke out against the millage in a letter presented to the City Council. President Michele Andres said it’s unfair to request that only the taxpayers of the City of Cedar Springs pay the additional $8,000 for what the city does for the festival. She also noted that they still plan to pick up the cost (not exceeding $8,000) under the agreement they made with the city when the budget was cut. That contract is good through 2015.
However, Andres questions whether what they’ve been billed is the real cost of the services and called the fees “erroneous.”
Mayor Pro Tem Christine Fahl pointed out that the millage for community events would cover more than the Red Flannel Festival, although that’s where the idea started, with asking the taxpayers if they wanted their money to go toward funding the Festival.
The City Council will approve the ballot language at their next meeting on August 9.