Dearborn City Council Sets Boundaries for Hemlock Pool Tax District

The Hemlock area is the only neighborhood surrounding a local pool that is moving forward with a plan to have residents pay to operate and upgrade the facility.

Despite uncertainty about the fate of all of Dearborn's community pools, City Council on Tuesday approved the boundaries for a special assessment district that would, if passed, make residents of the district responsible for the cost of .

The issue now goes to a public education meeting; and following that, ballots will be sent to the nearly 2,000 homes in the district that must be mailed back with their response to the question: Do you want to be taxed to keep Hemlock Pool operational?

The SAD, if passed, would remain in place for 10 years, and would be paid equally by every homeowner in the district. It would amount to around $67, according to City Attorney Debra Walling, although the actual amount billed each year would be determined by the realized operational and improvement costs from the previous year.

"The cost per parcel would be approximately $67," said Walling, "and the property owner and immediate family would get pool tags."

Residents outside of the district would still be able to use the pool, but it's unclear at this time how they would pay for that access.

Originally, the special assessment district funding plan was set to move forward in six areas surrounding Dearborn's small pools: Hemlock, Lapeer, Summer-Stephens, Crowley, Ten Eyck and Whitmore Bolles.

However, that idea , 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, among other concerns.

While Save our Pools members in April refused to hand over signatures that would put SADs on the ballot in the other five districts, Hemlock Pool supporters turned in nearly 500.

Dearborn City Council members voted unanimously to approve the SAD boundaries.

"From a democratic standpoint, it certainly gives the neighborhood the opportunity to make that decision," Councilman David Bazzy said. "To me, this appears to be a very perfunctory way for your group to say, 'Does this fit?'"

Several community members from the Hemlock area came forward to say that they did not support the SAD for various reasons–including the higher tax rate, and the fact that those who do not use the pool would still have to pay for it.

SOP members are still looking to move forward with a plan that would . However, for that charter question to appear on the November ballot, the group will have to collect 3,000 signatures, or convince council to put the question on the ballot.

No councilmembers have expressed an interest in proposing the millage question for the ballot.

BetteJo Jones June 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM
All Dearborn residents should pay the needed pool tax for the privilege of using the pools. For additional revenue, go back to purchasing a pool tag for Dearborn residents that use the pools regularly. Non residents, such as those from Dearborn Heights, used to pay an admission fee. If they don't still, reinstate it. It isn't just the immediate neighborhoods that use the pools.
Rita Dennaoui June 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Rich June 14, 2012 at 10:53 PM
"The cost per parcel would be approximately $67," said Walling, "and the property owner and immediate family would get pool tags." How come when we had to pay for the Arts Center and Pool Bldg that we still had to separately pay to use those facilities?
Silvio Davis June 15, 2012 at 01:18 AM
The reality of this is it we are not in the 80's or 90's anymore. The pools need to be remodeled and have repairs that are in need and Dearborn doesn't have the money they use too. That said the SAD number of of "$67" is for that small area that was set. The SOP proposal will allow a City-wide millage that will allow all residents to pay for all operational/capital cost to keep all the pools open for the next ten years. Which means the "$67" amount would be lower in the SOP proposal because more residents would be paying into it. As the millage for the Center is expiring in 2013 this would be like an extend millage that would be directed toward the pools. Just because someone does not have "kids" that use the pool anymore, this does keep help bring the property values up as well as attracting new families to Dearborn. I am a 25 years old, I dont use the pools as much as I would like too, but at the end of the day I do realise how important the pools are to the City. Do we want our youth running are the neighborhoods committing crimes or do we want them in a safe, life experiencing environment? The pools have a huge impact on the youth of Dearborn and they are the furture of this City. Opinions are to be made about the millage, but this is a plus for every resident in Dearborn.This allows the Pools to be remodeled, residents would recieve free pools tags, and all pools remain open. If we take out the pools and other recreation, we will have nothing and no future in developing.


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