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Millage Sit Down with Fire Chief Hansen

Election day has come to pass, but one of the proposals on the ballot was the millage for the Alpena County Fire Department. Though it was close, the millage was not approved. Fire Chief, Mark Hansen, had this to say about it, “Yeah, it was unfortunate that it didn’t take place. We know we had a lot of supporters out there. Obviously it wasn’t enough, anytime that you know something doesn’t pass and you’re kind of hoping that it does. It limits some of our operational abilities and some of the future out plans that I’ve had for one to three years of things that we were talking about trying to develop.”

The current budget is approved to the end of March next year by the board of trustees, with the new fiscal year starting April 1st for the department. The millage was to bring more money to help bring in a full crew necessary to serve the surrounding communities. With millage not being approved, things will have to change moving forward.

Fire Chief Mark Hansen

Hansen explained how changes would have to take effect going forward, “Obviously, there may end up being some changes somewhere along the line. I really don’t have the total answer to that yet until we get into discussions with the board and me passing ideas along to them, and those folks making their decisions, that they have to make.” He continued with, “Without the passage of the millage, and you know having that ability to have a little bit of freedom, as far as facilities and upcoming equipment needs, those things may not be able to be addressed right away.”

Although the millage didn’t pass, the support from the community and voters did not go unnoticed. Hansen had a lot to say about the community support, “As far as I’m concerned, the community gave us great support. Obviously, the economic driver out there right now is we’re in some real tough times, and then we completely understand.” He added, “You know that it doesn’t fit everybody’s situation. That being said, you know we’re going to still try to provide the best possible service that we can to our township residence.”