Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved placing a renewal of the township’s safety path millage on the August ballot at their meeting on Monday, April 23, for an additional five years, for .4655 mills, beginning with the December 2019 tax collection.
The township's safety path network provides residents walkable access to destinations such as schools and shopping complexes within the township, and also connects to neighboring communities' safety path networks such as Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Franklin, Pontiac, Troy and West Bloomfield.
The township has approximately 70 miles of safety paths, 82,000 square feet of retaining walls, and 25,000 square feet of fencing.
Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, director of engineering and environmental services, explained the Bloomfield Township safety path program has been in place since 1998, with the original safety path master plan developed in 1999 and updated in 2008. The last millage update was in 2014, and will be expiring in December 2018.
“There are 4.2 miles from the 2008 master plan update that remain to be completed, for a cost of $4.5 million, and in 2014, there were route additions, with 1.6 miles remaining to be completed, at a cost of about $1.8 million,” she said, for a total of 5.8 millions at $6.2 million.
She said the routes are all not yet designed, so the costs are estimated.
Further, there are repair, upgrades and maintenance costs, as well as bringing some current routes into ADA-compliance, for a total of $7.3 million. In addition, Olsztyn-Budry said they would update the safety path master plan.
Ballot language for the approve millage renewal reads as: “Shall the Charter Township of Bloomfield be authorized to continue to levy the Safety Path Millage [which was previously approved on August 5, 2014 for up to 0.4655 mils for a period of five (5) years] for an additional five (5) years commencing with the December 2019 levy, to fund a safety path program, including construction and maintenance of safety paths and the acquisition of rights-of-way for such purpose? Approval of this proposal would permit a tax limitation levy of $0.4655 per $1,000.00 of taxable value on all taxable property in the Township. This millage will be subject to applicable statutory and constitutional tax limitation provisions at the time of levy and will not exceed the above-stated rate. It is estimated that this proposal would result in the authorization to collect $1,850,000 in the first year if approved and fully levied.”