Grand Traverse County voters narrow approved a 3-year, 1-mill road tax by a slim 8,809 “yes” to 8,697 “no” margin according to unofficial vote totals. The millage will raise nearly $4.4 million a year for road repairs and maintenance for existing roads in the county. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 property an extra $100 a year in local property taxes.
County Road Commissioner Marc McKellar on Wednesday acknowledged the razor-thin margin of victory, but credited the county for developing a specific list of projects the millage would fund. That helped generate the public’s support, he said.
“We were very specific about what we wanted to do,” McKellar said. “We’re very grateful for the support.”
Traverse City Area Public Schools also had a close vote for its main school bond proposal of just over $35 million, but the proposal was turned down with 7,986 “no” votes to 7,758 “yes” votes according to unofficial totals. A second $12.9 million bond request to reconstruct Central High School Auditorium was defeated 9,252 to 6,454.
It was the second consecutive bond defeat for TCAPS and school officials don’t expect to come forward with another proposal in the near future.
“This is tough to see all around,” TCAPS Supt. Stephen Cousins told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. “We won’t be able to come back any time soon. That really means we’ll have to be really look at a relocation of current funds and general funds.”
In Traverse City, Mayor Michael Estes defeated challenger Rick Buckhalter by a 2,108 – 1,369 margin to win another two-year term as mayor.
In the race for three 4-year city commissioner terms, the top vote getters were Ross Richardson (2,071), Tim Werner (1,875) and Gary Howe (1,832).