Historical society asking for millage to help cover capital improvements.

March 31, 2017
Proposed new visitor center

Proposed new visitor center

Historical society asking for millage to help cover capital improvements.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Historical Society would like the taxpayers of Mason County to help preserve the county’s history. The historical society has sent a request to the Mason County Board of Commissioners asking the commissioners to place a millage request on the August 8 election ballot. The MCHS will be asking for a .29 annual millage for five years. The revenue is expected to generate $2.5 million, which will meet capital expenditure needs, according to a letter from the MCHS to the commission.

For several years, the historical society operated with the aid of a millage, which ended in the early 1990s.

The historical society operates Historic White Pine Village and a research library on the Buttersville Peninsula in Pere Marquette Township and will soon be operating the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, located in the old US Coast Guard station in Ludington.

“While Mason County Historical Society and its Historic White Pine Village have enjoyed more than a modest reputation — having garnered over time much community support through memberships, business and individual donations, as well as foundation support — it suffers from critical capital improvement needs,” the letter stated. “Additional, for the organization to fully meet its commitment to county residents and visitors, for the organization to keep pace with crumbling infrastructure at Historic White Pine Village, some short term support is needed for capital improvements.”

If passed by the voters, the millage will pay for:

  • New research library and welcome center, $900,000
  • Expanded parking at White Pine Village, $200,000
  • New entrance from South Lakeshore Drive to the village, $150,000
  • ADA compliant restroom facilities, walkways, and building accessibility improvements throughout the village, $150,000
  • Enhanced security and noice suppression fencing at the village, $150,000
  • New exhibits at the village, including themes of Native American village, steam locomotive and train station, military compound with quonset hut, and public ground transportation to and from the village, $250,000.
  • The completion of several maritime museum exhibits including 1940 Armistice Day Storm, U.S. Coast Guard duty station, maritime heritage trail exhibits, $600,000.

The county’s Finance, Personnel, and Rules Committee is expected to discuss the request during its meeting at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 7 at the Mason County Courthouse.

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