Voters defeat DATA millage

ESCANABA – A majority of voters in Escanaba and Wells townships chose to defeat two millages in support of the Delta Area Transit Authority; the millages would have provided operational funding for public transportation services in Delta County.

Escanaba Township residents rejected the measure by a vote of 156 to 117, while Wells Township residents rejected the proposal 173 to 110.

Delta County Clerk Nancy Kolich reported a low voter turnout of only 9.5 percent in Escanaba Township and 7.4 percent in Wells Township.

If the millages had passed, residents of both townships would have been taxed 0.5 mills, or 50 cents on each $1,000 of state taxable value, on all property for a period of five years. The millages would have continued from 2013 to 2017, inclusive.

Together they would have raised $168,020.64 for DATA, with $117,035.59 from Wells Township and $50,985.05 from Escanaba Township.

Currently, the cities of Gladstone and Escanaba pay 0.6 mills to support DATA.

Between Gladstone and Escanaba, DATA makes an estimated 130,000 trips a year.