Meridian Township to pay off fire station debt early, saving residents more than $822,000

The Meridian Township Fire Department's Central Station No. 91, pictured Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

MERIDIAN TWP. − Residents are going to have something to celebrate in 2025, as they will have one less tax to pay after township officials make the final payment for the Central Fire Station.

In 2012, township voters approved a 15-year, 0.2 mill levy to finance the station’s construction.

But thanks to new development in the township and higher than anticipated tax growth, officials are planning to pay off the debt more than three years early in 2025. The accelerated payoff will save taxpayers more than $822,000 in principal and interest costs, according to a township press release.

“So what will happen is for three and a half years, the last three and a half years remaining on the bond, the residents won't be paying that tax,” Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh said. “The tax levy goes away. That's the significance of it.”

The Central Fire Station was constructed in 2016 and is located at 5000 Okemos Road. Over the past few years the township has increased the number of paramedics on staff and purchased new ambulances and fire trucks, Meridian Township Supervisor Patricia Jackson said in a release.

The Meridian Township Fire Department's Central Station No. 91, pictured Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Walsh said when the tax was approved in 2012, officials forecast only 1% growth to make sure they had enough revenue to pay the bond. However, there’s been "decent" growth the past 10 years when it comes to new homes, new businesses and development that wasn’t guaranteed back in 2012, he said.

Because of the increased growth and tax revenue from businesses, the township now has enough tax revenue to pay off the bond, he said.

“More people paying for the bond reduces the overall cost for everybody else,” Walsh said.

He said the amount residents save will depend on the value of their home. Residents will be taxed the full amount in 2023 and 2024, but in 2025 the township won't be levying the full 0.2 before finally repaying the debt. Residents won’t be taxed for the station construction debt from 2026 to 2028 as initially predicted.

The two-tenths of one mill costs the owner of a home with a taxable value of $150,000 about $30 a year.

Walsh said paying something off early isn't uncommon, but to pay a 15-year bond off in about 12 years "is pretty significant."

Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Meridian Twp. residents saving $822K with fire station debt paid off