Hamlin board to discuss transportation millage

February 13, 2014

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — Barry Mathhews has been one of the people who has been campaigning for public transportation in Hamlin Township since the Committee for Hamlin Transportation (also known as Hamlin Rides) formed in 2011. The 30-year township resident’s support in the matter derives from his own inability to drive the 4.5 miles from his Lincoln Road home to Ludington due to vision loss.

“This country was founded on promoting the welfare of our neighbors,” Matthews said. “I was raised with the idea that neighbors help neighbors.” Matthews volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for abused children in the county and says a transportation service would make it much easier for him to get to where he needs to go, rather than inconveniencing his wife who is not always able to provide transportation.

The topic of public transportation is on the agenda of tonight’s Hamlin Township Board of Trustees 6 p.m. meeting. On behalf of the Hamlin Rides committee, Matthews is requesting the board place a property tax levy request on the August 2014 ballot. The committee is asking for the levy to not exceed 1 mil.

Hamlin Township is Mason County’s most populous township with 3,408 residents, however it does not offer public transportation. The county’s second largest township, Pere Marquette Charter Township, provides transportation to its residences as do the cities of Ludington and Scottville. All are serviced by Ludington Mass Transit Authority.

Similar proposals have been added to the ballot in the past and have been voted down. According to Mason County Clerk Jim Riffle, in Nov. 2006, a county-wide vote was turned down in Hamlin, with 807 yes to 851 no. A second vote, concerning only Hamlin was added to the ballot in August of 2008 and was opposed, 305 yes to 395 no.

The 2013 budget for Hamlin Township, as assessed in 2010, allotted for $160,000 in local share for public transportation,according to LMTA Director Dick Collins. This amount was based on Monday through Friday service from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Since beginning operations in 1974, LMTA has never raised a millage.

 LMTA does offer the option to commission a bus into Hamlin Township at a cost of $50 per hour. Also available county wide is Ludington Taxi which currently charges $4 for the first mile, then $3 for each mile after.

– with contributions by Carrie Klemm, MCP correspondent. 

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