Proposal on May ballot may fix our roads

By Jasmine Watts
The Mason Times

Gov. Rick Snyder and House and Senate leaders have created a proposal to raise Michigan sales tax from 6 to 7 percent to raise money for fixing roads. Their plan is estimated to increase road funding by $1.3 billion. This proposal will be on the May ballot. Recent polls show vacillating results from Michigan voters on whether or not a sales tax increase will be the option for road funding.

“We should not pay more in sales tax to fix roads,” said Jacqueline Cuff, a resident of Mason. “Michigan should have toll roads like other states for the maintenance of our roads.”

Something must be done about the roads soon.

“I will vote yes on the sales tax increase,” said Vivian Ferguson, a retired teacher in Mason. “I worry about my car being damaged by the roads almost every time I drive.”

Some voters say that road repairs can be funded in other ways.

“Our roads need to be fixed, but there are other funds to dip into to pay for that such as the Pure Michigan campaign,” said Ralph Wegner.

On May 5, Michigan voters will make the final choice.


Walk for Warmth to raise money for low-income families

By Daniel Hamburg
Mason Times staff writer

This Saturday, hundreds of people across Ingham County will brave the cold to raise money for those in need. The 24th annual Walk for Warmth will help the Capital Area Community Services, Inc. continue its services, and help more people in need this winter.

Frigid temperatures throughout Michigan have hit many low-income families especially hard. Marina Poroshin, the rural Ingham center coordinator for the Capital Area Community Services, Inc., hopes that people in Ingham County can help those in need.

“We walk in the cold because we want people to realize how it feels to live in the cold,” Poroshin said. “It drives the idea back home.”

She said because of the bizarre winter facing residents, there is a higher demand for assistance.

“There is an increased need this year, much higher than the last year because the winter is so harsh,” Poroshin said. “People burn through their propane much faster.”

Serving more than nine towns and townships in rural Ingham County, Poroshin’s office provides assistance for low-income families in need of utility and rent payments, propane, and deliverable fuel assistance, among other services. Continue reading

New movie theater, sports fields, art could come to Mason

By Abbie Newton
Mason Times staff writer

Mason hopes to improve its sports fields, entertainment venues and public art in the next five years, the zoning and development director said in a city council meeting in September.

Zoning and Development Director David Haywood said the ideas to add the new recreational resources are detailed in the city’s five-year recreation plan that was released in February.

Haywood and other officials sought input on the community-based plan to help guide the vision for recreation opportunities.

“It is important to have a goal and a vision so we know where we are going and what we are doing as a city. It spells out what community members want and what is feasible for the local government to provide.” –Zoning and Development Director David Haywood

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Jail in Mason key issue in sheriff’s race

By Rokeyta Roberson
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

HOMTV and Meridian Township have teamed up to provide county residents with coverage of local elections. Ballot Meridian 2012 coverage includes live debates, candidate interviews, and candidate statements.

“I think it is very important for local candidates to share their stances on problems facing the communities they wish to serve,” said Ingham County resident Ashley Lawrence. “If debates between candidates that are running for a county-wide position are broadcast, then it can help residents become more informed and not place their vote because off of familiarity.”

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Sparrow cuts Mason urgent care hours

By Kate Vogel
Mason Times staff writer

MASON — Sparrow Urgent Care, the sole urgent care provider in Mason, has recently cut out two hours of service each day.

The exterior to Mason Urgent Care. The center now closes at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

This change amounts to 30 days of service a year that is lost from the Mason community. Sparrow representative John Foren said this change was made to create more efficient service for the patients. Sparrow Urgent Care, 800 E. Columbia St., is the closest urgent care provider for Mason residents.

Mason City Administrator Martin Colburn said, “[Mason residents] are very frustrated with Sparrow that they would close and lock the doors on us. People have seen the reduction of services to our community.”

Sparrow Health’s announced the reduction in an Oct. 19 news release that read, “As of Nov. 6, both locations [Mason and Okemos] will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to provide more continuity and consistency for patients. As always, Sparrow Urgent Care is open 365 days a year providing non-life threatening urgent care to walk-in patients.”

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Flea Market proceeds to benefit Ladies Auxiliary VFW

During the VFW flea market, one of the vendors offered used books at a reasonable price. The proceeds of the sales went to help the VFW services.

By Kate Vogel
Mason Times staff writer

Mason residents browsed through tables lined with jewelry, used movies, books, crafts and home goods during the semiannual flea market hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Michigan Post 7309 on Oct. 22. The proceeds from the flea market will be donated to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW to help with all the services they provide.

The Ladies Auxiliary VFW host two flea markets annually- one in the spring and one in the fall- and are both organized by Mason resident Sherry Fisher.

“The proceeds from the [vendor] tables — its $15 to rent a table- and all the proceeds go to the VFW Woman’s Auxiliary for all of the different things that we do,” Sherry Fisher said.

According to the VFW, there are around 2.1 million VFW members and they contribute more than 11 million hours of service within their communities.

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Personal property tax elimination questioned

By Ian Oberg
Mason Times staff writer

The elimination of personal property taxes as proposed in Senate Bill 34 has received negative reviews from city officials as well as residents.

In his email to the Senate Finance Committee, City Administrator Marty Colburn asked that it vote no on this bill because of the negative financial effects it will have on the City of Mason as a whole.  Colburn agrees that the personal property tax is “administratively burdensome to businesses and government alike.”

However, Colburn’s concern is that without a replacement form of revenue, Mason will lose $500,000 in property tax revenue for 2011.  This is more than 16 percent of the city’s property tax revenues and more than 10 percent of the city’s general fund.
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