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      Otsego County looking to put Sportsplex millage back on ballot

      Otsego Conty officials and citizens meet to discuss possible new milage.

      Otsego County is looking to its tax payers to make necessary improvements for the county.

      County leaders met with residents in Gaylord to discuss three possible millages for the November ballot.

      There was little debate about funds needed to improve road conditions and support for additional emergency medical service vehicles, but when it came time to discuss a millage to support the Otsego County Sportsplex citizens had a lot to say.

      Many questioned putting the Sportsplex millage back on the ballot. Nearly the same amount of people questioned them for not using other methods like fundraising and raising rates to afford the new equipment.

      â??They don't have enough money for capital improvements,â?? said Gaylord resident James Flint. â??Until they establish a new plan the taxpayers will be on the hook. So, I don't see any justification for a new election.â??

      Otsego County Sportsplex Board Member Christie Perdue assured voters that paying for $200,000 equipment canâ??t be paid for with car-washes and bake sales and raising rates runs customers away.

      â??We can't depend on fickle fundraisers in order to make that happen we need concrete investment community,â?? said Perdue.

      The previous Sportsplex millage, which had a special election on May 6, failed by 31 votes.

      Otsego Co. Officials said voter turnout in May was just 10 percent. The voter turn-out in November is expected to be significantly higher.

      The final decision to add millages to Otsego Countyâ??s November 4 ballot will take place at the commission meeting on June 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the J. Richard Yuill Alpine Center.

      Proposed millages:

      - 1-mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable house value) for 10 years on improving and upgrading Otsego Co. roads. The mill is estimated to raise $1,175,848 annually.

      - 1-mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable house value) for one year for the countyâ??s EMS services request for two new ambulances and an 8,500 square-foot expansion. The mill is estimated to raise $1,175,848 annually.

      - 3/16 mill ($0.18 per $1,000 of taxable house value) for 5 years to help upgrade the Otsego County Sportsplexâ??s outdated and broken equipment.