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      Commissioners answer road millage questions

      Members of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission laid out their millage proposal details for residents with questions.

      A proposal on the November ballot could impact the roads Grand Traverse County residents drive on. It??s asking residents for a one mil increase.

      Members of the commission answered questions regarding the proposal Tuesday night at the Traverse City Republican Party offices.

      The one mil increase for roads would generate around four million dollars for the road commission.

      The main source for road funding now is from the gas tax. The commission wants to double its efforts of repairing and maintaining roads. It??s developed a long term plan to get 80 percent of Grand Traverse County roads in good condition. Currently, 20 percent are considered in good condition.

      While the asset management plan spans 20 years, it involves a three year millage.

      Residents said the clear time frame is refreshing.

      One commissioner said he thinks the results will be noticeable right away.

      ??We think we can prove ourselves in three years,?? said Marc McKellar, member of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. ??We're doubling our efforts on maintenance. I think citizens are going to see it next summer. What they're going to see is the roads are going to be mowed, the shoulders are going to be taken care of, there will be clear vision areas, newer equipment.??

      Many of the people who showed up to learn more voiced their support of the proposal.

      The commissioners said the millage money would go directly to summer maintenance when better, long term fixes can be made, as opposed to winter damage control.

      A person with a $75,000 taxable home value could expect to pay $75 each year if the millage passes.

      Members of Traverse City Area Public Schools spelled out the school districts millage proposal Tuesday night.

      Two separate proposals focus on students' safety and security as well as equity between the schools. Officials said the money is necessary to give students across the area the same opportunities.

      Families with a $100,000 taxable home value could expect to pay $29 a year if both proposals pass.

      Citizens also got the chance to ask the mayoral candidates questions regarding city issues.

      Both Mayor Michael Estes and challenger Rick Buckhalter got a chance to talk about their governing philosophies. Mayor Estes will be speaking to the public Wednesday morning outside the Governmental Center in Traverse City regarding ??the office of the mayor of Traverse City.?? The mayor said the statement will be brief. He will not be answering questions.

      Estes was arrested last Wednesday night on in Traverse City.