Kalamazoo County

Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

Should Kalamazoo County levy a tax to help fund services for seniors? Voters will have a chance to decide in August. The County Commission voted 6 to 5 along party lines on Tuesday to put the question on the ballot during the primary.

The proposed rate is 0.35 mills, expiring after six years. A homeowner with a taxable property value of $100,000 would pay about $35 annually.

Kalamazoo County’s majority-Democratic Commission will again be led by a Democrat. On Tuesday, the 11-member Board elected Stephanie Moore as its chair. Moore is the first African-American to lead the Commission.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County is poised to start accepting construction bids for a new animal shelter. That puts Animal Services one step closer to replacing its current facility.

The department argues that the building it occupies now is poorly designed, spreading disease among the animals in its care and causing them stress. Adoptions were an afterthought at the time that it was built, and the facility includes little room for visiting with the pets.

WMUK

Kalamazoo County Medical Director Will Nettleton says there’s no change in methodology, or how deaths are counted that explains a sharp rise in deaths last year related to opioids. He says Kalamazoo County is simply following the national trend.


Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Kalamazoo County saw its rate of accidental opioid-related deaths roughly double from 2015 to 2016, says Medical Director Will Nettleton.

“That is quite a significant change,” he told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Nettleton appeared before the Board to summarize the opioid situation in the county. 

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