Meeting to answer questions regarding Evart police millage

EVART — Come election day, city residents in Evart will make a choice whether to vote "yes" on a public safety millage that will benefit the Evart Police Department.

The millage asks for 1.8 mills over a five-year period, which is expected to raise $68, 479 for police and fire services in its first year. If approved by voters, the proposal would allow the city to maintain its own police department, keep the three staff members the department has and reduce the city's cost for the Evart Fire Department. It also might help the police department hire a part-time secretary to answer phone calls while officers are on patrol.

Evart Police Chief Kendra Backing said because many residents have been unaware of the millage or have questions regarding the proposal, an informational meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Evart City Hall. City officials will be present to discuss the purpose of the millage, budget issues and what will happen if it's voted down, she said.

"This meeting will serve as an excellent opportunity for the community to hear what has led to officials proposing the millage," said Backing. "The city has never had to ask for a millage before, so this is not a renewal. The reality is the city lost significant revenue with Dean's closing and it has negatively impacted the entire community. The public safety millage simply offers a solution to the current budget issues the city is facing."