News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Upper Peninsula township approves EMS millage

Two Whitefish Township ambulances sit parked on
Courtesy Photo by Renee Gray.
Two Whitefish Township ambulances sit parked on the road.

Voters in one eastern Upper Peninsula township approved a millage proposal that would increase funding for its emergency medical services over the next four years.

The results come after Whitefish Township has struggled for years to recruit and maintain first responders.

Two hundred twenty-nine residents cast their ballot, according to unofficial results from the Chippewa county clerk. But the proposal passed by just nine votes.

The proposal will increase the tax limitation by five mills. This means homes valued at $100,000 could see a $500 increase to their taxes each year.

Approval of the millage also ensures that the community’s EMS are able to stay within the township.

As a backup plan, the township also joined the Northern EMS Authority, a coalition of nine other townships in Chippewa county to potentially reduce costs.

The Authority is still in its early stages, but if it comes to fruition, it would place emergency services throughout Chippewa county.

Whitefish Township Supervisor Edson Forrester said the community will continue with its involvement in the Authority even though the millage passed.

“This gives us four years to keep our service going here in Whitefish while the authority gets established and gets more organized,” he said. “But yes, we will continue to look to the authority to be the leading EMS provider in the county.”

Forrester said the official results of the election should be certified by next week.

Renae is a newsroom intern covering northwest Lower Michigan for WCMU.