BATA Officials, Voters Discuss Millage Renewal

“We’re gathered here today with a small team waiting on the results and we are hopeful I guess you could say we are cautiously optimistic that we’ll be supported in our request.”

This has been a hot topic in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, for the future of the Bay Area Transportation Authority.

“I am very much in favor of having mass transit and I think the bus system has gotten better and better in Traverse City and I’m figuring if I get to a point where I can’t drive I’ll have to use it so I wanted to be in support of it,” voter Palma Richardson said.

Even some voters who don’t use BATA think it’s a necessary service for the area.

“I think you can’t go wrong for the very little that I will have to spend in tax for it. The gain to our community and to those people who need transportation I think it’s definitely worth,” Matthew Archibald said.

But others are tired of paying more taxes and this is one they couldn’t justify voting yes on.

“I live in Traverse City and every year my property taxes have been increasing due to various millage increases. It’s a large millage amount and so I just thought I would take the opportunity to vote no and recover some of my tax money,” Jeffrey Martin said.

Since the millage passed, BATA does not have to make cuts to their services but right now they are staying positive.

“The majority of the feedback has been supportive there has been some vocal opposition we’re aware of that but we’re hopeful that the majority will be supportive and that will come through at the polls,” Kelly Dunham, executive director, BATA said.

With all precincts reporting, the millage request passed 6,943 yes votes to 5,427 voting no.