POLL: Would You Support a Dedicated Millage for Dearborn's Pools?
Save Our Pools proposed a ballot question that would put the future of Dearborn's pools solely in the hands of voters.
A plan proposed to City Council Monday evening at the 2013 budget public hearing made a suggestion that would answer the question once and for all: Does Dearborn want to pay to keep its community pools?
Kristyn Taylor, a member of the Save Our Pools group, brought a plan before council at Dearborn City Hall that would put a ballot proposal before residents asking them to vote on a dedicated millage that would cover the operating costs, capital improvements and maintenance of all eight of the city's pools.
The millage would also eliminate the purchase of pool tags, Taylor explained. Instead, all residents would automatically receive tags–as all residents would pay the tax.
"We would unite the city with something everyone would choose for the city of Dearborn," Taylor said. "Our plan ... brings together all interests we've heard from (the city and residents) ... and we would keep the pools open."
The millage proposal comes on the heels of the special assessment district funding plan, which would have taxed only the residents in the area immediately surrounding each small neighborhood pool. That idea was kiboshed by pools proponents, who said they felt it was unfair to residents to move forward without having a more concrete idea as to what the cost to voters would be.
When SOP members refused to hand over signatures that would put SADs on the ballot, the city essentially disbanded the Outdoor Pools Committee.
The new plan presented suggests that although it would be a new tax on residents, it would–if approved–be levied just as the millage runs out on the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. That debt tax, which amounts to about two-thirds of a mill, expires in 2013.
"While it would be a new millage, the effect would be a continuation or decrease of the current costs the residents pay," SOP explained in the written plan. "The pool millage would begin where The Center millage ends."
Several members of Dearborn City Council said they saw merit in the idea, and would be willing to discuss it further.
"The fact that you want to take this to the voters makes a whole lot of sense to me," said Councilman David Bazzy. "If the voters want it, they’ll fund it.”
Tell us what you think: Would you support a dedicated millage for Dearborn's pools?