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Tofu the red panda cub. Photo courtesy Detroit Zoo Facebook.

Although many people aren’t paying attention to the primary election on Tuesday, there are some very important items on the ballot.

One of those is the Detroit Zoo millage, which spans across the three counties of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne.

The Detroit Zoo, in the time of receiving regional support, has thrived. It’s physically located in Oakland County at the crossroads of Woodward and I-696, making it rather accessible and centrally located to all in the region, and it has a litany of programming for residents of all ages.

The attendance has grown, as well. The Detroit Zoo now serves about a million and a half people a year, up from one million eight years ago.

Detroit Zoo Gentoo Penguins
Detroit Zoo Courtesy Photo

The ask here is relatively small – a renewal of a 0.1 millage that costs a home that’s worth $200,000 just $10 a year for the next ten years. The millage provides about one third of the Detroit Zoo’s operating budget, or about $11 million a year. Tax rates would not increase as this is a renewal.

There are about 3,000 creatures at the zoo, and just this year they opened the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center that is a world-class facility. Although no organization is perfect, the Zoo is one of the things in this region we can point to and be proud of that we’ve come together on to make successful.

Voters should vote YES to renew the millage for the Detroit Zoo.