This Collaboration Makes Sense (& Dollars)
Population: Under 2,500
The two enclosed pictures of Spring Lake Township Hall and Spring Lake Village Hall were taken from the same place. The photographer simply turned 180 degrees and looked across the street. These two local government buildings have been right across the street from each other for over 50 years. Instead of the township building a new building, maybe it would make sense (and save dollars) to share one building and better serve the residents and taxpayers. So, that is what we did!!!! We are moving in together.
The township is moving its administrative functions into the Village Hall. The lease is signed, the project is moving forward, and by August 1 the citizens of the community will have a “one-stop shop” for all of their local government needs. No more saying “you will have to walk across the street for that”.
Replicability:If a village and township have a good working relationship, it should be easy to replicate. One challenge was getting 14 elected officials to agree on the terms of the contract. Once that was done, our challenge was funding. Spring Lake Township/Spring Lake Village received a CGAP grant from the State of Michigan in order to get the project off the ground, although there will be some out-of-pocket expenses associated with the arrangement. The business case, however, is sound. The political case might prove challenging for some communities.
Creativity and Originality:We’re not sure of too many other villages and townships that share a facility. Frankenmuth City and Township share a facility, but beyond that, we don’t know if anybody has tried this recently.
Community Impact:We feel that we can provide better customer service to our residents (“One stop shopping” ~ Fred Meijer) as well as save both entities a great deal of tax payer dollars.
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