MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - For many years, Redi-Ride is a service that has helped those in need of a curb-to-curb riding experience in Meridian Township. The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) operates and provides service for the Township's Redi-Ride program. On August 6, 2019 residents will be asked to renew the current millage to continue this service for another 5 years.
The language of the millage was an issue of discussion among the Meridian Township Board at their May 9 meeting, a classic case of what residents are currently paying vs. an increase. “The downside to that [renew and increase vs. renew and restore] is it gets treated just by the way the language has to read, as a rollback. Essentially you’re doing a Headlee rollback,” said Assistant Township Manager and Director of Public Works, Derek Perry.
While Township Trustee, Dan Opsommer agrees that the language should not suggest an increase due to previous formatting, Township Treasurer Phil Deschaine argues that, “we don’t want to have to present this as a new millage when it’s not in fact a new millage. It’s a renewal of the existing Redi-Ride Millage…if we could present it at .1983 I think that would be worth sacrificing the $3000 [profit] for the sake of simplicity…I’ll be supporting this resolution.”
Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus stated, “I can’t support ballot language that restricts the millage going before the voters to only refer to CATA…had the language said ‘a service provider’ we could have gone through our own internal process to determine if in fact it was CATA or another transportation provider. I cannot support this because the language lists CATA as the only vendor to provide this service."
Supervisor Ron Styka stated that action needed to be taken during the meeting in order to have the renewal listed on the 2019 ballot. The Board approved the Redi-Ride Millage Renewal Language 6-1, with Clerk Dreyfus voting no.
The current 0.1983 mills rate is estimated in generating $360,756, or a difference of $3,093 in 2020.
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