BY ANNE STANTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — INTERLOCHEN — Green Lake township voters approved a 1.93 millage for Green Lake Township for its emergency, fire and ambulance services with 56.5 percent of voters casting a “yes” vote.
A total of 959 township residents — or 20.3 percent of registered voters — voted, according to the Grand Traverse County Clerk’s office.
The millage restored 1.5 mills and added another .43 mils to raise $484,143 in the first year of its levy.
Green Lake Township Supervisor Paul Biondo said the increase was needed because fire and ambulance services has evolved into a “growing business.”
Back in the 1960s, the township received only one or two calls a month, he said.
“Now it’s well over 500 calls a year” he said. “In a rural area, more and more people come here with more and more expectations. On top of that, the state requires you provide services in a certain time and manner. It’s gotten to be expensive. Even though the economy was really flat, it didn’t change the demand for services.”
On top of that, volunteers aren’t as easy to find, particularly when they are on call seven days a week. The township uses a combination of paid and volunteer workers, he said.
“Now you’re to the point , husband and wife are both working, and you ask them to get up twice a day? That’s a little much. You can only ask so much,” he said.