It's been since 2005 since the Dalton Fire Department has asked for an operational increase. There has been the need for some newer equipment since, but...the fact is that there's one full time position for this centrally located department in the county and as the growth of the county continues, so does the need to properly assure the safety of the citizens and the ability of the department to be ready when needed. If the taxable value of your home is $50,000 in Dalton township, they are asking for about $42 bucks.
Township Supervisor Jeffery Martin and Fire Chief Alan Styles invited me up to the Dalton Fire House to learn a little more about the need. Dalton Township is located centrally in the county and at some point, through travel or enjoyment, we're all making use of the area. It's a growing area for year round residential as well as seasonal attractions like Michigan's Adventure, camping, outdoor fun and more. The staff is manned by a paid on call group of "volunteers" who are as tight as any big town fire department, but they do work full time jobs and come when needed to the service of others.
The goal with this millage request is to be able to open up the schedule to have three people rotate through the week to make sure that the instant a call comes in, wheels are in motion. Currently, Chief Styles picks up in the neighborhood of 140 shifts a year that are not staffed. Before the camera rolled, Chief Styles said that it was the least of his concern to fill in as needed, but the idea of making sure that there are adequate and equal amounts of protection there as the township grows is the long view of what's being asked here.
.85 mills per $1000 in taxable value to your home will be almost unnoticeable. Here's the basic. If you have a $100,000 home, the taxable value is about $50,000. This millage will cost a home owner with a $100k house about $42.50 a year. Imagine that? It's really not a lot to ask for those who put their lives on the line day in and day out for all of us. Imagine voting against that and needing that help? It would be a regret I couldn't live with.
This is how the language will appear on the August 8th ballot. When you vote, take in to account all that the Dalton Fire Department does for so many of us and give them the help they are requesting for less than pennies a day.
Chief Styles provided this in a letter that went out to all residents - "If you have any questions contact me any time. My direct line at the office is 231-332-6710 or email
TOWNSHIP OF DALTON
COUNTY OF MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN
ADDITIONAL 0.85 MILLS FOR FIRE PROTECTION
Shall the tax rate limitation for Dalton Township be increased and levied in the amount of
0.85 mills ($0.85 per $1,000 of taxable value) from 2023 through and including 2042, to provide
revenue for the cost of operation and maintenance of the Township Fire Department? This is a
new millage which if approved would be in addition to the current millage for fire protection
It is estimated that a levy of 0.85 mills would provide revenue of $238,764.31 in the first
calendar year. The revenue from this millage levy will be disbursed to the Township of Dalton.