Voters in the Whitmore Lake Public Schools boundaries approved a recreation millage that appeared on the ballot Tuesday.

Voters approved a 1-mill, ten-year request that will replace a current .588-millage that expires in 2023 but wasn’t quite covering costs completely so the district budget was back filling it. Superintendent Tom DeKeyser says it’s not quite a renewal and has been referring to it as an extension so basically a new version of the old one. The millage is aimed at maintaining and improving the community pool and athletic fields as part of the community recreation department. DeKeyser tells WHMI in a small town, the school really is the hub of recreation in Whitmore Lake. He says a big part of that is operating the pool and all the programs associated with their community recreation office but another is the maintenance of the Jennings Road Athletic Complex and Park. DeKeyser says he’s really happy with the town of Whitmore Lake for supporting it and that people chose to invest a small amount of money now to put off big bills that could come later if they don’t take care of the facilities and have major repairs down the road. He says the Board of Education and Community Recreation Director Maria Carter-Ewald did a good job getting out and engaging people, noting they have a small town that generally supports the school system and recreation programs.

DeKeyser says among the first priorities is maintaining the pool as they’re always looking for energy efficiency opportunities, and then enhancing the parks that bring people outdoors. He says it’s a winter tax that will be collected in December so they don’t want to start making any major improvements until later but there are some things they’ll start working on such as repairs to Jennings Road and field maintenance as they have junior football and cheer that will be starting up soon. He added they’re taking care of their athletic facilities for high school and middle school kids but the Jennings fields get used by community programs so they’re going to start working on those right away so they have quality facilities and well maintained facilities too. As for more long term improvements, DeKeyser says plans are not drawn up but they want to potentially expand recreational activities where the high school currently sits. He says it’s a pretty active area for people who work out and access to weight rooms is somewhat limited so there are plans to expand that and offer a weight/training room that would be more accessible to the community. As for the pool, DeKeyser says they have a pretty active swim program but it was built without bleachers and people have to sit on the pool deck in folding chairs so they would eventually like to change that. For the Jennings Road Complex, DeKeyser says it’s more upkeep but they have plans to put lighted basketball courts out there so kids can use them later in the day during the non-summer months. He says there’s also a very active dog park there and they would like to increase the lighting, parking and upkeep of the fences.

Complete details about the proposal and plans can viewed on the district’s website. That link is provided. Photo: WLPS. (JM)