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My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration | Families

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My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration
My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—As Memorial Day approaches, Kent County Commissioners are getting ready to hear a proposal to create a millage to support county veterans.

The proposed Dedicated Veterans Millage would be for .050 mill, generating slightly more than $1 million for veteran outreach and emergency services.  The measure would also more than double available federal claims assistance hours. 

On May 8, the Kent County Board of Commissioners Millage Subcommittee unanimously supported forwarding the millage request onto the Finance and Physical Resources Committee for consideration. The proposal will be discussed at the Kent County Commission’s finance meeting Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.  Supporters hope to get the millage on the November ballot.

“Since the creation of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, we have continued to see significant growth in service needs,” noted Paul Potter, chair of the county’s Veterans Affairs Committee and a Vietnam veteran. “We all know the facts: Kent County has the fourth-largest veteran’s population of any county in Michigan, yet we are 50th of 83 counties in federal dollars awarded, and Michigan continually ranks near dead last in the states and U.S. territories. This proposal will start to assist us in closing these gaps.”

“For every Kent County-funded Veterans Services Officer, there has been a return of approximately $974,000 in federal benefits annually, which are reinvested in the community in the form of groceries, gas, clothes and miscellaneous services. This is an amazing 2310 percent return on investment of the county general funds,” adds Theresa Robinson of the United Veterans of Kent County.