Letter to the editor

On March 10, voters in New Haven Township will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about the value of the Shiawassee Area Transportation Agency (SATA) to them and to their family members, friends, and neighbors.

New Haven Township is voting on a new millage, as it is not currently a participating municipality.

New Haven Township will request up to 0.333 mills for four years, which equates to $5.91 annual tax on a home with a $100,000 taxable value.

With the passage of this millage proposal, residents of the municipality will receive a 67-percent discount on the cost per ride compared to residents in municipalities which do not support SATA. They will also continue to have the ability to reserve a ride as far in advance as one year and to reserve a recurring ride, such as three days a week to a dialysis treatment or to a senior center, once a week to a medical appointment or to a grocery store, or five days a week to work.

Of our county-wide trips, approximately two-thirds are taken by senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

This local millage support can only be used for operation of the buses. No voted millage can or will be used for any capital expenses, such as building construction or purchasing new buses.

Although federal and state grants, as well as fares paid by individuals and agencies, pay for nearly 80 percent of SATA’s expenses, local financial support is required, just as it is for all public transit agencies in the United States.

Most of us support police and fire protection even though we may never need it. Most of us support our schools even if we do not have school-aged children or grandchildren. SATA service is no different. Although you, your family, or friends may not use SATA’s service now, you may need it one day. Many people rely on SATA’s service for daily independence and quality of life.

Please be sure to vote March 10.

Mary Rice

Executive Director

Shiawassee Area Transportation Agency

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