Spring Lake residents debate ‘disincorporation’

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 16:36:35-04

SPRING LAKE, Mich. – Later this summer, voters could begin the process of “disincorporating” the Village of Spring Lake.

Residents and leaders met Monday night and are meeting again Tuesday afternoon.

The “disincorporation” would mean that the village would merge with Spring Lake Township.  The local government would be eliminated and would no longer provide services, but would also no longer collect taxes.

The Village Manager, Christine Burns, tells FOX 17 that the movement towards “disincorporation” has picked up momentum since Joyce Hatton was elected as president four months ago after she campaigned on the promise of no more taxes.  Burns tells us that community members don’t like the idea, saying the majority of people at Monday’s meeting said they would prefer to pay more and have the benefits of certain services.

“We currently plow streets. We plow sidewalks. We suck leaves. We pick up brush. Our residents have come to expect a very high level of service,” said Burns. “The township does not provide that same level of service and they’ve said on the record that they will not provide that level of service.  Taxes equal services. No taxes equals no services.”

The next step will be a vote to amend the city charter in August. If approved, the issue would go to a township-wide vote in 2018.

Spring Lake would be the first village in the state to “disincorporate.”