By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - The E-911 millage proposal for the purpose of operating and equipping an enhanced 9-1-1 system in Dickinson County failed.
The 911 levy of 0.4 mills for three years failed with 6,376 no votes or 52.37 percent to 5,800 yes votes or 47.63 percent.
Pete Schlitt, emergency management coordinator for Dickinson County, said Dickinson County is the only county in the state of Michigan that turned that down a 911 millage. He called it "unfortunate."
The current communication system is 21 years old. Schlitt said it's not if the equipment fails, but when.
"The county board will have to make some decisions," he said. "My worry is that when this communication equipment fails, dispatchers will lose all communication. When it fails, they will not be able to page law enforcement, ambulance or fire. They will have to make phone calls to those responders' homes."
Schlitt added that the ballot language, which included six state proposals, might have been overwhelming to those who voted.
"But as a voter, it is your responsibility to know what the proposals are," he said.
The three-year millage would have generated enough to help operations and buy equipment at four-tenths of a mill.
NORWAY - The Norway-Vulcan Area Schools bond proposal passed with 1,333 yes votes or 51.51 percent to 1,255 no votes or 48.49 percent.
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2013 is .95 mill for a zero net increase in debt millage. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding is 13 years.
Superintendent Louis Steigerwald said he is quite happy assuming the election totals hold up.
"I am happy for the folks who went out and voted and thank those who helped us with the campaign," he said. "Without those folks helping us out, we wouldn't have the vote we do."
Steigerwald added that with the bond funds, the district will be able to go ahead with technology and security improvements to the schools.
The bond will update the security system throughout the building by replacing the metal frames and doors and adding a programmable key lock.
"We will be able to replace doors. It will allow us to put security items into place," Steigerwald said. "You hope you never need them but once they are put in place we will be glad we have them."
Bond funds will also provide all students in fourth grade through 12 with an iPad, add VOIP throughout the district, allow the district to make improvements on the roof as the current shingles are curling, will replace light poles that are rusty, and replace sinks and toilets in bathrooms.
The bond will also update the PA system throughout the building, add telephones to each classroom, and replace the current gym floor and bleachers.
FELCH - An 18-mill operating levy renewal for North Dickinson County School passed with 731 yes votes or 60.07 percent to 486 no votes or 39.93 percent.
The renewal is for 10 years, beginning in 2014. By statute, a homeowner's principal residence is exempted from this tax.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.