I want to thank Chamber members who voted for the Genesee County millage proposals in the Aug. 7 primary election. By now you know that voters approved all three of the countywide millages that were endorsed by the Flint & Genesee Chamber.

The Genesee County Arts Education & Cultural Enrichment millage will provide free or deeply discounted admission to local art institutions, including the Flint Institute of Arts and Sloan Museum. It would also provide $500,000 to the Greater Flint Arts Council for arts programming grants to other nonprofit or governmental arts and cultural institutions in Genesee County. The millage will generate about $8.8 million in the first year.

The Mass Transit Authority (MTA) millage will fund “Your Ride” and related services for the elderly, persons with disabilities, the disadvantaged and other members of the public throughout Genesee County. The millage, which was first approved in 1996, will generate more than $3.3 million in the first year.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension millage will generate about $380,000 in its first year, funding education programs in Genesee County, including 4-H Youth Development, agriculture and agribusiness, child and family development, community and urban agriculture, and the Master Gardener volunteer program.

As I have said many times, arts and cultural institutions are a vital component of a vibrant region and we’re very fortunate to have such a rich mix of institutions in Flint & Genesee. Both the MTA and MSU Extension in Genesee County are integral members of the community support network and provide cost-effective solutions for residents of Flint & Genesee. MTA is a national leader in providing innovative transportation programs while MSU Extension uses research-based information to address a host of critical issues in our community, such as providing health and nutrition guidance in response to the Flint water crisis to mitigate the effects of lead exposure.

As a longstanding supporter of the arts, public transportation, youth programs and wellness, it is very encouraging to see voters approve the millage proposals. Our Chamber remains committed to working with the MTA, MSU, Flint Cultural Center and other arts organizations to improve the quality of life of our residents, and create a place where people want to be and businesses want to locate and grow.

Thanks again for your support!