Bloomfield Township voters pass safety path, senior services millages

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 15, 2022

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Voters in Bloomfield Township passed two millage proposals Nov. 8 — a millage renewal for the township’s safety path program and a millage renewal, with an increase, for senior services.

Township voters passed the safety path millage with 15,012 yes votes to 8,888 no votes, according to unofficial results from Oakland County Clerk’s Office.

Officials said the renewal of the five-year, 0.4511-mill safety path program millage will fund the construction of new safety paths as outlined in the master plan, maintain the existing safety paths and update older safety paths to current Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The renewed millage will be levied in December 2024 and will result in the authorization to collect $2,287,000 in the first year. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value.

Bloomfield Township Director of Engineering and Environmental Services Olivia Olsztyn-Budry said the safety path program millage has been in place since 1998 and has been renewed by the residents since then.

The original safety path master plan was developed in 1999, and it was updated in 2008 and 2018.

Since then, Olsztyn-Budry said, no additional routes have been added by the Board of Trustees. The 10.8 miles left to be constructed would cost the township an estimated $15,832,000, according to officials.

Township voters also passed a millage renewal, along with an increase, for senior services, with 15,999 yes votes to 8,013 no votes, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office.

“We are so grateful that 15,999 voters said yes, and we see that as an affirmation that they know that the services we’re providing are valuable in this community, regardless of whether they step  in our building or not, ” said Senior Services Director Christine Tvaroha. “We are very humbled and we are very, very grateful.”

The current senior services millage of 0.2273 mills was set to expire in 2024, but since the proposal passed, there will be an increase of the senior services millage by 0.1027 mills, for a new total millage rate of 0.3300 mills for a period of 10 years. The renewed millage and increase will be levied in December 2024 and will result in the authorization to collect $1,673,000 in the first year.

Tvaroha said the millage renewal, with the increase, will finance the continued staffing, equipping and operating of the township’s Senior Center and providing of senior services in the township, including, but not limited to, adult day care service, transportation service, nutrition service, management service, and marketing and outreach services.

Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dani Walsh said the two millage proposals were moved to the November election to save residents the cost of a special election next year — which can be over $100,000. Walsh said placing the millages on the November ballot also allowed the township to hear from more residents, since there is typically a higher voter turnout in gubernatorial and presidential election years than in special elections.