Voters to decide on Animal Control millage renewal

GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County Animal Control is urging voters to renew a millage that will keep the shelter operating for the next several years.

On the Aug. 4 election ballot, residents will be asked to approve a 0.1994 property tax to fund operations at the Genesee County Animal Control facility in Flint Township. The renewed millage would continue for seven years, replacing the initial 2-mill tax that was approved by Genesee County residents in 2014.

If the millage is approved, the levy would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 home less than $10 annually. Estimated revenue from the millage is expected to be a little over $1.8 million in the first year.

Without the revenue from a renewed millage, county officials have said that operations at the current level will not be sustainable at the shelter. In a memo to the Genesee County Board of Commissioners, Genesee County Capitol Projects Coordinator Josh Freeman said that annual costs for the shelter will be in excess of $3 million moving forward.

The current millage, set to expire this year, has allowed for the expansion of staff and services at the animal control facility. In large part, this enabled Genesee County Animal Control to become a no-kill shelter in 2019.

The shelter has also undergone an $8.2 million renovation project, which has included the installation of a new ventilation system and the addition of new kennels.

Paul Wallace, director of Genesee County Animal Control, said that the millage renewal will help the shelter to continue implementing better practices as its facility renovation project nears completion.

“It just seems to me that the people who supported and voted for this millage—the people who supported us from the beginning and who continue to support this important work—would like to know what we’re doing and where their dollars are being spent,” he said. “Genesee County Animal Control has evolved, will continue to evolve, and the lives of thousands of animals have been saved and have improved dramatically.”

While the millage covers operational costs at the shelter, 100 percent of bonding costs for the modernization project are being paid through the county’s general fund.