Art millage set to go before county commissioners

Photo Credit: Sarah Jaeger

FLINT, Mich. -- An arts millage set to go before the Genesee County commissioners Monday morning, hoping to bring millions to the city's cultural gems.

This would include the Sloan Museum, Longway Planetarium, The Whiting, The Flint Institute of Arts, the Institute of Music, the McCree Theater, Berston Fieldhouse, and the Greater Flint Arts Council.

The millage would cost home owners roughly $48 per year for the next 10 years.

Citizens for a Better Genesee County, the group proposing the millage says they want the area to be known for more than just water issues or the new series on Netflix.

"It’s one of those things we really measure our quality of life by," says Charles Winfrey, the executive director at the McCree Threatre. "It would allow us to substantially offer additional programs and better programs to serve our undeserved population."

According to supporters, the millage would also benefit Genesee County residents who visit these cultural destinations.

"You’ll see a lot of free admission to things like the Sloan Musueum or the Flint Institute of Arts as well as discounted prices to things like The Whiting to the Longway Planetarium to the McCree Theatre to the friends of Berston Fieldhouse," says Randall Thompson, the president of the Citizens for a Better Genesee County.

"I fear that most residents are going to be millage fatigued between the millages they pay for their own public safety their schools, what we have for veterans with county and animal control," says David Martin, the 9th district commission for Genesee County. While Martin supports the arts, he is against the millage .

"The cultural center was never supported by a government entity," says Martin. "It was started by GM executives, a private thing and the government doesn’t need to expand at this time something that was never a government function."

Martin says he will vote not at the meeting but cannot speak for his other commission members.

"Promoting Genesee County is a fine idea and I think they’ll go with that," says Martin.

"This is about championing the great things we have in Genesee cCounty so people can take some pride in their community and see it’s a great place to live, work and raise a family," says Thompson.

Five members of the commission need to approve the mileage before voters would see it on the ballot on August 7th.


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