VOTING

Oscoda Township voters get ballots and cast votes on Nov. 5 at the Oscoda Township Hall for two different millage questions during the special election.

OSCODA – Oscoda Township voters voted down a proposed road improvement millage for the second consecutive time during last week’s special election, according to polling numbers from the Iosco County Clerk’s Office.

Township voters, as well as voters in the Oscoda Area School District (OAS), however did approve a new sinking fund millage for the school district. The measures were the only two on the ballot for Iosco County during the election.

Voters approved the OAS sinking fund millage with 944 voting for the measure, or 61.58 percent in favor of the millage. There were 589 voting against the measure or 38.42 percent of voters.

The OAS sinking fund millage is essentially a renewal of their current sinking fund millage – set to expire next year –albeit at a higher millage rate.

Voters approved 1.23 mills – an increase of .23 mill from a sinking fund millage set to expire – for “the construction or repair of school buildings, for school security improvements, for the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law” as outlined in the millage language.

The 1.23 millage will collect $1.23 on each $1,000 of taxable value for a period of 10 years, from 2021-30. It will generate an estimated $753,000 for the first year.

Six precincts voted on the OAS sinking fund, including all four Oscoda Township precincts and one in AuSable Township and a second in Wilber Township. The only township to vote down the OAS sinking fund millage was Oscoda Township’s precinct two, where 83 voters cast ballots against the millage, or 51.86 percent. There were 77 who voted for the millage, or 48.13 percent. 

For the township’s road millage, voting was split over the township’s four precincts, with precincts one and two voting against the measure, and precincts three and four voting for the measure. In precinct three voters approved the millage by just one vote, with 149 voting in favor of the millage and 148 voting against it.

This is the second consecutive election that Oscoda Township officials have put the millage on the ballot – with the same millage rate and language – and the second time it has been defeated by township voters.

In both the August and November elections the township  asked voters to approve 1.75 mills, or $1.75 per $1,000 of taxable value for six years to generate funds “inclusive for purposes of road maintenance, repairs and improvements.” 

If approved the millage would have generated $520,250 in the first year.

During the Aug. 6 special election the millage request garnered 214 votes in favor, with 274 voters against the measure. That was 56.15 voting against the measure and 43.85 voting for the measure.

Although the road millage failed, an Oscoda Township Fire Department funding millage was approved in August. 

The road millage made its second 2019 ballot appearance after an Aug. 11 meeting where the Oscoda Township Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to reintroduce the defeated millage onto the November ballot. 

At the time trustees voted to reintroduce the millage after it was asserted that the public was ill informed of its need and use, and vote turnout in August was low.

Opposed to that resolution was Clerk John Nordeen, who at the meeting said he did not want the original millage to appear at all.. Trustee Timothy Cummings was not present at the meeting and did not vote, leading to the 5-1 outcome.