ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — Township trustees plan to ask voters in March to consider a renewal cemetery levy with a reduced millage.
During a Wednesday meeting of the Andover Township Board of Trustees a resolution was passed to seek a 5-year, 0.35-mill renewal levy with a 30-percent reduction in millage. The levy would generate around $20,600 if approved by voters.
County Auditor David Thomas said levies involve a two-step process of first requesting a millage rate to determine how much it would generate and then sending language to the auditor’s office, which sends that information on to the Board of Elections.
He said levy reductions are not common.
“It’s kind of unique to see a reduction,” Thomas said.
The renewal request is a reduction of a 0.5-mill cemetery approved narrowly by voters five years ago, according to Trustee Chairman Bill French. At the time the cemetery was running out of money needed to perform upkeep and necessary repairs to roads and a new truck and tractor were needed, he said.
“What we were taking in wasn’t covering expenses every year,” French said.
That levy ultimately passed by one vote after a recount, French said. Now that a truck and tractor were purchased and various repairs were made at the three cemeteries, French said the 0.5-mill amount is no longer needed.
It costs around $15,000 annually just to mow and tend to the cemeteries, French said, so a 0.35-mill levy that generates $20,600 annually should cover those costs.
French said trustees expect the reduced millage to carry the township through another five years for cemetery-related costs. If passed, French said the plan is to see where things stand in five years and if the reduced millage is still covering those costs.