2011-11-03 / Opinion

Support The St. Ignace Library Millage - Vote Yes

To the Editor:

It seems like there are a lot of rumors about how a sizeable portion of the money raised by the library millage will go to the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Hopefully this will clarify and answer the concerns of those who are in doubt about which way to vote. According to the Michigan DDA Public Act of 1975, DDAs are allowed to capture a portion of taxes collected to facilitate economic growth and development to improve the quality of downtown areas. The library can’t get a millage that wouldn’t allow the DDA capture. That’s the law. It has been reported that if the library millage passes, about $10,000 of the $85,000 raised by the millage will go to the DDA.

That’s true. It is also true that our St. Ignace DDA has received almost $2 million in grants from outside our community to fund a variety of projects such as the playground portion of the American Legion Park, blacktop for the skate park at Little Bear East, assistance to develop the Kiwanis Beach and Chief Wawatam parks, downtown boardwalk, and several economic development projects (the downtown mall and grocery store). For every $1 collected as tax capture within St. Ignace, the DDA has found grants from outside for just under $3. That’s not a bad return.

The DDA zone is only a small geographic area within the City of St. Ignace, centered along North and South State Street. Since there are very few residences in this area, the vast majority of homeowners in St. Ignace would not have any of their $22.50/year (based on a home with a taxable value of $50,000 and a $100,000 cash value) captured by the DDA if this millage passes. The majority of the DDA capture from this millage would come from our downtown businesses. Our city library helps make St. Ignace a great place for their employees to live, brings many of our neighbors from Moran and Brevort into town, and adds to what our city offers tourists.

Our library is a reflection of our community. Help keep its doors open. Vote yes for the library millage November 8.

Martha Sjogren

St. Ignace

St. Ignace Public Library board member

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