Burton city leaders make final push for police millage

Burton Police Chief Tom Osterholzer says the 6.5 mills will help keep the police department intact and free up general fund dollars for city infrastructure upgrades.

Burton city leaders are making one last push to pass a millage supporters say will keep the police department intact and improve public services.

In exactly two weeks, Burton residents will head to the polls to cast their ballots on a 6.5 mills 20-year request to raise $3.4 million a year to fund police.

The tax increase is expected to increase the number of officers to 36 and fully pay for police services. Right now, the police department uses 70 percent of the city's general fund. Burton Police Chief Tom Osterholzer says the tax increase would free up those fund dollars for infrastructure upgrades and other city services and ensure his department can patrol the city and keep people safe.

â??The safety, the well-being of the citizens, the community and our officers is very important to me, it's very important to this department and this city, and I would encourage people to educate themselves, get as much information before they cast their ballot on November 5th,â?? Osterholzer said.

But some residents say they're cash-strapped themselves, and are on the fence about the millage.

Mark Horsman said, â??I do feel terrible that there isn't the money there, but at least from my point of view, I don't have it to give them.â??

If the millage is passed, the bill on a home with taxable value of $40,000 would go up $260 dollars a year.

Election day is November 5.