Oakland County Parks and Recreation asks for first-ever millage increase
In 1966, Oakland County Parks and Recreation opened with one park and 190 acres.
Fifty-four years later, the system has 13 parks and nearly 7,000 acres.
In all that time, the system has been operating on a .25 millage, which has been reduced over the past two decades to its current rate of .2310. OCPR has never asked voters to increase the millage rate that funds the parks system.
“If you think of all the technology that has changed in 54 years or how we’ve grown since 1966, you can understand why Oakland County Parks and Recreation needs to get current with the times,” Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. “We have cut budgets, extended the life of equipment and put capital and maintenance projects on hold for years. Parks Commissioners and staff want to make the investment in recreation for our residents, their families, businesses and partners in Oakland County.”
On November 3, Oakland County voters will be asked to reinvest in their parks.
The current .2310 millage rate is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. Residents will be voting on a millage replacement and increase to .35 mills to improve, operate and maintain parks, open space and water areas, trails and recreation activities.
If approved, the .35 rate will cost the owner of a home or business valued at $200,000 (taxable value of $100,000 approximately) $12 more, for a total of $35 year to maintain the Oakland County Parks and Recreation system.
The .35 mills will be used to increase access to:
- Allow OCPR to offer free annual vehicle permits to Oakland County residents who are seniors (62 and older), active military, veterans and residents with permanent disabilities
- Refresh parks system assets to meet current and future needs
- Expand trails throughout Oakland County
- Enhance outreach and support of local recreation programs
- Increase environmental conservation efforts across the 910 square miles of Oakland County to protect important natural habitats