Saginaw County voters will face a ballot full of millage requests in March. They’ll decide on a proposed renewal and increase for the Dow Event Center millage for 10 years, through 2030. That follows an affirmative vote from the County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. Event Center General Manager Jonathan Block said the millage needs to return to its original 2001 levy of .45 mills, which would double the current levy.
Block said necessary upgrades include roof and ice plant repairs in the arena, and improvements at the nearby parking structure. Of the last 145,000 attendees to non-hockey events at the Dow, Block said 80 percent were from outside Saginaw County, spending money at local bars, restaurants, hotels and gas stations. He said that’s helped revive downtown Saginaw, but critics say virtually doubling the millage is too much to ask of taxpayers.
In addition, the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Department wants a 6-year millage renewal. Michigan State Extension is seeking a new levy of .1 mills for 10 years, to finance their county-based programs.