BARODA — Baroda Township’s request for a $2.8 million bond issue to fund a new fire station was defeated by a mere 16 votes in Tuesday’s election.
A total of 308 voters voted “yes,” and 324 voted “no.” Officials were disappointed with the results but somewhat encouraged by how close the vote was.
“It’s like missing a field goal in overtime, and losing the game,” said Baroda Township Fire Department Chief Larry Klug. He said he knew the vote would be close, but “I actually thought it would go through.”
“I kind of expected that,” Baroda Township Supervisor Jim Brow said about the outcome. “Some people didn’t think there’s anything wrong with the station we have. The trucks are a really tight fit, but they do fit.
“What I heard a lot of was, ‘Holy mackerel, $2.8 million!’ That got a lot of people’s attention.”
Klug said he’s willing to place the issue before voters once more. Brow said he probably is too, “but not right away.”
“I’m not the kind of guy to go after what we want until we get it,” Brow said. “I get the message.”
Township officials say the current station, which is some 60 years old, is outdated and so cramped that some equipment has to be stored elsewhere. Firefighters have no showers or decontamination facilities, have no way to clean their suits or equipment, and can’t refill their air bottles.
Had the millage passed, it would have been paid off over 30 years. In its first year, 2020, it would have had a millage rate of 1.5771, and would cost $158 to the owner of a property with a taxable value of $100,000.
Voters on Tuesday did support two millage renewals.
Voters approved the renewal of a 0.9794 millage levy for the fire equipment fund by a 401-230 count. The township’s request for renewal of a 1.9589 millage levy for police passed 353-243.
Clerk Wendie Shafer said 31 percent of the township’s 2,178 registered voters cast ballots. “That’s very good,” especially for a primary election, she added.