AP voters approve Police, Fire millage

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — It will continue to be business as usual for the police and fire departments after residents approve a millage increase Tuesday.

The increase was voted on what many said was a surprisingly high turnout; 5,114 voted for the 3.25-mill increase, while 2,164 voted against it.

The additional 3.25 mills will add an estimated $2 million in funding for the operation of the Police and Fire departments. The increase extends the previous millage from five-year and 3.5 mills to 10 years and 6.75 mills. It is estimated to bring in $4.6 million, an increase of about $2 million over the previous millage.

Emergency Manager Joyce Parker said the vote was a mandate for Allen Park to move forward and gives the city an opportunity to look for other ways to increase the other services provided by the city. The additional funding allows consistent staffing within the Police and Fire departments, she said, and allows the city to explore opportunities to provide better services to residents.

“It is definitely a positive step and a vote of confidence,” she said. “What I can do now is focus on stabilizing the city’s operations to provide the highest quality services possible to the city of Allen Park.”

Ed Cann, a paramedic and engineer for the Allen Park Fire Department, said the millage was a turning point for the city and became bigger than just funding the Police and Fire departments.

“It wasn’t just about having police and firefighters, but about having a thriving city that people want to live in,” Cann said. “This vote was a turning point for Allen Park. It was a positive outcome because the city can continue to provide the necessary services without any interruptions or additional reductions.”

Councilman Bob Keenan said if the millage hadn’t passed, the services within the city would have declined substantially. The firefighters would have seen the biggest cuts, he said, because that department would have been reduced to eight firefighters and would have lost the ability to provide a superior Advanced Life Services to what options would have been available.

He said every Allen Park firefighter is a paramedic, which is the highest training they could receive, and can provide someone with the necessary drugs and other advanced life support that could save a life.

“We don’t know what tomorrow holds,” he said. “But, to know you will have a fully capable, highly-trained firefighter come to your house is huge.”

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)