Voters strongly approve Farmington millages

By: Mike Koury | Farmington Press | Published November 3, 2015


FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Voters said yes to two millages in the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills Nov. 3.

An operating millage renewal proposal for the Farmington Public Schools district received more than 67 percent of the vote, while a public safety millage was overwhelmingly approved, with more than 83 percent of the vote.

FPS voters approved a 10-year, up to 13.57-mill levy on homes and up to 18 mills on businesses.

Farmington City Manager David Murphy said he’s happy that the residents voted to keep the millage, and that it’s going to help both Farmington and Farmington Hills’ public schools.

“I was worried young families wouldn’t come to the area and would leave the area,” he said. “The schools play an important part to the cities.”

Farmington Public Schools Board of Education President Howard Wallach said previously that the $40 million raised by the levy each year represents “the lion’s share” of money that pays for teacher and staff salaries from the current annual budget of approximately $140 million.

Evelyn Walker, of Farmington Hills, said the main reason she came out to vote was to support the millage and the schools, and to make sure children are being educated.

“I like to make sure there’s money in the budget for any school concerns,” she said. “That seems to be a statewide concern.”

With all 28 precincts reporting, the school millage received 10,852 votes in support, compared to 5,132 against.

Pam VanValkenburg, a voter who supported the millage, said she did so to make sure kids stay in the classroom and to help with teachers’ salaries.

“I was worried that people weren’t going to come out and vote for it, or if they did, they might vote against it,” she said. “It’s important to keep the funds flowing for the schools.”

The public safety millage for Farmington Hills, with all 23 precincts reporting, received 11,725 votes in favor compared to 2,393 votes against.

The ballot question asked voters to approve or deny continuing the existing 10-year millage that would generate an estimated $4.5 million annually. More than 40 public safety positions in the city’s police and fire departments will be funded by the public safety millage renewal, according to city officials.

The renewal continues the levy of 1.4764 mills from the expiration of June 30, 2016, for 10 more years.

“Although I haven’t had too many problems with safety, but still with this being a fairly safe city, I want it to continue that way,” Walker said, voicing her support for the millage.