Muskegon County senior tax will go toward Brookhaven bills

Muskegon County board meeting

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - Muskegon County is going to use money from their new senior millage to pay part of the deficit at the Brookhaven Medical Care Facility.

Even though in 2016, when voters were asked to approve the tax increase, Brookhaven was deliberately excluded from the list of potential beneficiaries.

“We purposely left Brookhaven out of it,” explained Senior Activities Chairperson Nancy McCarthy.

“We felt the county residents didn’t want to throw money at an enterprise that was failing.”

Voters approved the tax increase and now after years of losses, the Brookhaven home for senior citizens is closing.  To cover a nearly $3 million deficit the county is using $1.7 million in senior millage money.

Leaders say Brookhaven was home to senior citizens, the millage benefits senior citizens, therefore this onetime payment is legitimate. 

“They receive nurse care, health care, transportation and food services,” says Muskegon County Administrator Mark Eisenbarth. “Which falls in line with the senior millage and can be used for those services.”

After applying money from the senior millage the county will pay the remaining $1.2 million Brookhaven deficit out of their general fund. Moving forward, the Senior Activities Committee has just approved $1.2 million of senior millage money grants to support Meals on Wheels, medical transportation and more than a dozen other programs for senior citizens in Muskegon County.

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