Judge-ordered Sylvan Township millage recount upholds vote
The outcome of the August vote stands in a millage request to pay back debt incurred by Sylvan Township for a water and sewer project, according to the results of a judge-ordered recount by the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers Tuesday.
The millage had narrowly passed Sylvan Township voters by a seven-vote margin in August -- a margin that was upheld by the Tuesday recount.
A Sylvan Township resident had requested a recount that happened in September, but the bags holding the ballots cast in the election had not been sealed properly and the Board of Canvassers determined they could not conduct a recount.
Circuit Court Judge Archie Brown ruled during a hearing Oct. 3 that the recount should happen.
Brown determined that the gap present in the zippered ballot containers was not wide enough that the ballots should not be recounted, said Ed Golembiewski, director of elections for Washtenaw County.
Over a 20-year period, the 4.4 mill tax approved by voters in August will raise about $13 million that the township owes to the county in back taxes and payments the county shouldered after the township defaulted on its loan to pay back a water and sewer development project.
Had the millage request failed in Sylvan Township, the county would have had to seek legal action against the township. The rate at which the township would pay back the county would be then subject to a judge and may have been more severe than the agreement approved by voters, county officials have said.