Proposal put on ballot to help Saginaw zoo - WNEM TV 5

Proposal put on ballot to help Saginaw zoo

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A proposal on the upcoming ballot may help save your favorite zoo friends, but if voted down it could send some of them away.

The Saginaw Children's Zoo is in need of help to keep all the animals and activities at the zoo.

"I like cats and wild animals a lot because I like exotic animals," said Alivia Bennet, zoo visitor.

Bennet loves coming to the Saginaw Children's Zoo, but a budget crisis may force many of her favorite furry friends have to leave their homes.

"Nancy Parker has done an amazing job at maintaining the zoo's presence. On the outside, behind the scenes, we're struggling," said Kevin Schultz, with the board of directors.

Zoo officials said voters can help by voting for Proposal 4 on the Aug. 5 ballot. The proposal asks for a 10-year, .2 mill property tax for the zoo.

"The impact would be approximately $10 to $13 a year for an average homeowner in Saginaw County," Schultz said.

Those at the zoo believe that's a small number for what it brings to the community.

If the proposal does not pass, some of the favorite animal exhibits, like the penguins, could be in danger of leaving the zoo.

Zoo officials said the $10 to $13 a year would add up to about $900,090, allowing the zoo to keep the animals and grow over time. 

While that seems like a lot of money, other areas of their operating budget are set to decrease if the issue passes. 

For example, the ticket price will go down from $7 to $5. 

"This atmosphere is something Saginaw needs for current residents and to attract young talent to the area," Schultz said.

The most common criticism for the proposal from voters is that they are taxed enough already. 

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