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Jackson County voters face 'simple business equation' in August parks millage election

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Jackson County voters are being warned they could lose some of their county parks, unless voters OK a new millage on August 7th.  

Jackson County maintains 17 parks and a ten-mile-long scenic bike trail.   

But county Parks Director Jeff Hovarter says past budget cuts have reduced needed maintenance.

He says, without the $2 million a year the millage on the August ballot would provide, the alternative is “rightsizing our park system.”  Hovarter says that may involve closing some parks, selling others to developers or transferring parks to townships.

“It’s a pretty simple business equation,” says Hovarter.

Some critics accuse Hovarter of using scare tactics to get the millage passed.

“The one thing I’m concerned about is people think we’re using some scare tactic.  We’re being truthful with them,” says Hovarter.

If the millage is approved, the owner of a $100,000 home in Jackson County would pay an additional $25 a year.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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