Fire Millage

  Approve a millage of 1.37. Approval of this millage would do three things:
(1) replace a previous fire millage of .5724 that expired in 2023;
(2) consolidate an existing .2242 fire millage set to expire in 2027 (meaning the current Board would cease to levy the .2242 millage upon approval of this new millage); and
(3) negate the need to supplement the fire dept. annually with general operating dollars wich equate to  .1905 mills.
  The fire department is currently funded by 4 sources: a millage that expired at the end of 2023; a millage that expires in 2027; a millage that expires in 2033; and dollars from the Township’s general operating millage.
  Over the last 20 years Cascade Township has seen a population growth of 47%. The fire department has seen a 111% increase in calls for emergency services. A fire engine has seen a 280% increase in cost. All this plus significant inflation over the years has costs outpacing revenues.
  The overall 1.37 millage with the consolidations and replacements equals an overall increase of .3829 ´╗┐mills. This equates to $91.87 in its first year ($7.66 per month) based on Cascade‘s average home value of $480,000.
  • Maintain current level of emergency services, including personnel and firefighter and EMT certifications
  • Needed fire equipment and needed apparatus replacements.
  • Station 2 facility repair and upgrades
  A mill is 1/1000 of a dollar, or 0.001 cents. If a tax rate or millage rate is 1.37 mills, a resident is taxed 0.00137 cents for every dollar, or $1.37 per $1,000 of the taxable value of the property. For example, for a residential home with a taxable value of $100,000, the cost of 1.37 mills would be $137 per year, or $11.42 per month.
  Laws pertaining to those services. For example: Firefighters must maintain certifications/continuing education for firefighting, EMT, HazMat, Tech rescue, emergency driving. Departments are also required to provide and maintain equipment that meets all laws/standards. For example, turnout gear ensembles are close to $5000 and are only compliant for 10 years. Cascade maintains more than 50 sets! A fire engine costs approximately 1 million dollars and is expected to last 15 years. Cascade maintains an entire fleet of apparatus.
  The Township used funds that were saved for this purpose; federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds; and issued a bond for about half of the station’s cost. State Revenue Sharing will be used to make the bond payments. The proposed millage dollars will NOT be used to pay for the fire station bond payments.
  The NFPA standard for life expectancy on a fire engine is 15 years for frontline service and no more than 20 years for reserve apparatus. This is especially true for Michigan fire apparatus being exposed to salty winter conditions.
  The Fire Department would have to cut services, capabilities, manpower, equipment, etc. The failure can have far-reaching and severe consequences affecting overall public safety, emergency response effectiveness, property insurance costs, and overall quality of life. It underscores the importance of sufficient funding for fire and emergency services to maintain community resilience and safety.