Voters in the city of Brighton, Brighton Township and Genoa Township will be going to the polls in three months to decide on an additional tax for the Brighton Area Fire Authority.

The fire dept. currently operates on a 1.5-mill levy, which is set to expire in 2020. However, the 0.89-mill request on the May 7th election ballot would be in addition to that. The millage, which would be levied in the City of Brighton and in all of Genoa and Brighton townships, would generate about $2.3 million per year in revenue, based on current property tax assessments. Fire Chief Mike O’Brian tells WHMI that the millage — if passed — would be used to completely replace the tiny and inadequate fire station on Weber St. in Brighton Twp., expand the fire station on Dorr Road in Genoa Twp. and to build a sixth fire station in an area where there has been a large increase in the volume of fire calls.

He says the problem with the Weber St. station, which is in the Old US-23-East Grand River area — is that it was never built as a fire station in the first place. In addition, due to the design, fire trucks must back out of the facility, losing valuable time that could mean the difference between life and death. The fire station on West Grand River was built in the 1970s as the city’s only fire station and is now too small, but the fact that it backs up against the Mill Pond makes expansion problematic. And the facility on Dorr Road in Genoa Twp., O’Brian says, is basically a garage for the fire trucks and has no quarters for staff or rooms for training.

However, the fire authority millage is not the only request that will be on the May 7th ballot. The city of Brighton will also have a proposal on the ballot, asking city voters to approve a 2.5-mill request for 7 years to fix the city’s deteriorating streets. A few council members, however, have expressed concerns about placing the proposal on the ballot on the same date as the Brighton Area Fire Authority proposal, saying it reduces the street millage’s chances of passing. (TT/JK)