Warren voters comfortably approved millage renewals for public safety and road repair on Aug. 3.

Warren voters comfortably approved millage renewals for public safety and road repair on Aug. 3.

Photo by Brian Louwers

Voters renew Warren public safety, streets millages

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published August 4, 2021


WARREN — The taxpayers of Warren have been historically generous in their support for the city’s public safety and street repair millages, and this year was no different.

Requested five-year renewals of both millages passed by wide margins on Aug. 3.

Warren’s supplemental police and fire tax of 4.7487 mills was renewed by 75.5% of the 13,549 voters who cast ballots in the election. The millage was originally approved in 2011 as a 4.9 mill tax levy to augment a separate 20-year millage for police, fire and emergency medical services. It was first renewed for five years in 2016 with 78.7% voter approval.  

 Another five-year renewal of what was originally a 2.1 mill tax levy for local road and street repairs was approved by 71.3% of the 13,547 residents who voted on the question. The renewal authorizes a levy of up to 2.0349 mills. The original question was approved in 2011 and extended with the approval of 75% of the voters in 2016. The proposed renewal would also, for the first time, include repairs to public access and parking areas. 

When calculating property taxes, a mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value.

“I’m very excited by the passage of both millages, as they have implications for public safety and specifically for fire,” Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said. “It’s just a vote of confidence from the public that we are doing a good job for the public and that they continue to support us with their tax dollars.

“I’m very appreciative of their continued support. It gives me a sense of pride in knowing we’re worth their tax dollars. I’d like to thank the public for their continued support,” McAdams said. 

In addition to the funds generated by the public safety millage, McAdams said the road repair millage would assist first responders and city maintenance crews tasked with navigating the city’s streets and keeping the fleet of frontline emergency vehicles operational.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said passage of the millages means the department remains on track to fill all of its vacant positions by Dec. 1. 

“We appreciate the support that we received from the taxpayers, from the homeowners in the city of Warren,” Dwyer said. “It was something that obviously would have dramatically affected the department if it had not passed, as far as not being able to hire police officers and firefighters, and perhaps having to lay off firefighters and police officers.

“We want to thank the public and the taxpayers for their support of the millage,” Dwyer said.

Warren’s latest group of nine new police officers was officially sworn in late last month. 

“We anticipate hiring eight or nine more officers late this month and having all vacancies filled by December 1,” Dwyer said. “That would include the 10 new positions that were approved by the mayor and City Council.”

Dwyer said the new hires would continue to add diversity within the department. He said a fully-staffed department would result in more community policing initiatives and more neighborhood patrols.