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Menominee County Talks Opioid Litigation, Millage Request

The Menominee County Board on a 5-4 vote decided not to join in nationwide litigation to recover costs caused by the opioid epidemic from manufacturers and distributors of those opioids. Although the county has been approached by law firms willing to represent the county on a contingency fee basis, with no fees charged unless the county were to win a settlement, several Commissioners expressed concern that the litigation could still end up costing the county money. The county would have to document the costs that they would be seeking to have reimbursed.

The Board did agree to move forward for discussion and possible action later this month a request from the Pine Crest Medical Care Facility to place a millage question on the August Ballot. Pine Crest is asking the three counties that own the facility, Menominee, Dickinson, and Delta Counties to authorize the millage request. They are looking for $1.5 million a year split between the three counties. In Menominee County, voters would be asked to approve .65 mills for five years starting in 2019. Voters in all three counties would have to approve the request for it to take effect. Pinecrest administrator Darlene Smith says about one third of the money would go towards operations, one third to cover bad debts, and one third for building repairs. Commissioners Charlie Meintz and Bill Cech both said they wanted to see a more detailed business plan showing how the money would be used before the County Board considers the request.

Menominee County Equalized property values are up 1.39% for 2018. The County Board approved the annual equalization report Tuesday. Real property values rose 1.52% to $958 million. Personal Property fell by 0.32% to $72 million.

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