The Dexter Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to levy .2 mills on the winter tax bills to begin funding its permanent fire station.
During the November general election, voters approved a ballot proposal allowing the township to levy up to 1 mill every year through 2018 for the purpose of providing funds for the new station.
Prior to the vote on Tuesday, Trustee Carl Lesser said the board shouldn't levy any millage in 2012 due to the fact that the township has not yet purchased property to build the new station.
Trustee Michael Howard agreed, comparing the decision to a contractor who bills a client for services he hasn't completed.
"I don't think we should start collecting on a project that hasn't started," he said.
Clerk Harley Rider said by delaying the tax, the township would have to wait until winter 2013 to levy a millage, since the public safety millage is only included on the township's winter tax bills.
"We're still going to have to collect the millage, and if we delay it for a year, it extends the collection period for that much longer," he said. "It wouldn't be ideal to write a check from our fund balance and then wait for the winter taxes to come in at the end of 2013."
Lesser revoked his motion in favor of levying .2 mills, which would bring in roughly $60,000 in the 2012 fiscal year.
"My fear is that if we don't do anything this year, does it say to our residents that we don't know what we're doing?" supervisor Pat Kelly asked. "If we collect some money now, we can complete the engineering study prior to putting shovels in the ground next year."
In other action
- Trustees Jason Maciejewski, Anne Sullivan Buchholz, and Michael Howard were sworn in by Clerk Harley Rider. The trustees were voted into office during the Nov. 6 general election.