Voters to see multi-million dollar millage proposal on August ballot to replace Ingham County Animal Shelter

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Another multi-million dollar millage proposal will be put to voters in Ingham County for the August election.

If approved, the money will be used to build a new county animal shelter.

The millage is worth roughly $10 million.

The resolution that went before Ingham County Commissioners Tuesday night was actually amended to be paid over a six-year period, rather than a 10-year period.

If voters give the go-ahead, it builds a brand new $7 million Ingham County Animal Shelter, which will replace the one in place now.

While many people at Tuesday night’s meeting were for this millage proposal to go on the ballot, others say it’s all about prioritizing.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been hoping to build a new shelter for over 10 years, that now is going to be in the hands of the voters,” Ingham County Animal Control Director, John Dinon said.

If approved, the 45-year old shelter will be replaced, rebuilt, and revamped to better serve the community.

Something Dinon said there’s a great need for.

“There’s much more demand from the community now for humane care of animals for aggressive rehoming of animals,” he said. “The shelter that we’re in was built in 1971, so it’s an old building. It was built at a time where the state of the art of animal sheltering is very different than what it is today.”

Dinon said right now the shelter is understaffed. This millage will allow it to add three new positions, expand its service, and allow staffers to work more efficiently.

“When you come into the shelter the wait times will be much less, the service will be better, and most importantly, this would allow us to be open six days a week, instead of five,” Dinon said.

Here’s how the millage could affect you. If approved, a homeowner, who’s property has a taxable value of $75,000, would pay around $18 more each year.

However, depending on where you live, there are a number of other upcoming millage renewals, as well as millage requests for consideration on the August ballot.

Something Steve Japinga, Director of Government Relations for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce said, all boils down to needs versus wants.

“This millage that’s being proposed would be the 10th special millage that Ingham County has,” Japinga said. “And kind of our dilemma, our concern was how fast this was put together. This is six years, another $18 that folks are going to be paying for a brand new animal control shelter; is that what we need or is that what we want.”

Although the time-frame of this millage was changed from 10 years, to six, officials estimate it will save approximately $500,000 in interest.

But of course, voters will have the final in the matter, come August 2nd.

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