GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Many West Michigan municipalities asked voters to decide on local ballot questions like bonds and millages Tuesday.
Voters in Holland approved a land sale that will allow the city to move forward with redeveloping the waterfront.
Wyoming voters passed a $4 million millage to support the Department of Public Safety. The millage will allow the city to hire more police officers and firefighters.
In Algoma Township in northern Kent County, voters said no to a proposal to leave Kent District Library. If the township had voted to exit KDL, it would have launched a millage to start its own library in partnership with neighboring Solon Township. The closest KDL library to Algoma Township is in the city of Rockford.
In Kalamazoo County’s Cooper Township, voters rejected a proposal to establish a special assessment district to support the fire department. A special assessment district acts like a millage, but it allows rate flexibility to go up or down, depending on the circumstances. The township supervisor previously told News 8 that the board was looking at a rate of no more than 2 mills.
In a tight race, a request from Caledonia Community Schools for a $61 million supplemental bond passed by only 75 votes. The district got an $88 million bond in 2020 but says inflation has jacked up construction costs and the work cannot be completed without more money.
Voters rejected a $155 million bond proposal from Grand Haven Area Public Schools that would have supported a number of building improvements, including the construction of a new middle school to replace Lakeshore Middle School. The district’s operating millage renewal passed.
TURNOUT IN KENT COUNTY
Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons said the election’s turnout was about average.
“Based on just the absentee numbers that we have, we’re looking at about a 13% voter turnout. That’s not including any in-person voting. So I expect we’ll see anywhere from 15 to 20%, maybe even higher turnout tonight,” Posthumus Lyons said. “We fluctuate anywhere from 10% all the way up to 29%. … So anywhere 15-20% would be about average for this May election.”
She said there were not any major issues at the polls.
“It’s been a very smooth election. A few troubleshooting spots here and there,” she said. “We did have a couple little hiccups with our electronic poll books based on the weather — we had a limb fall on a power line — you know, things like that where it simply just took just a minute for us to regain functioning of the e-poll book, with no real delay to the voters.”
Election equipment is tested before voting day to make sure its functioning properly, she said.