This week there will be an important hearing for those hoping to merge three West Michigan communities. A group of citizens is asking the state to allow the cities of Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township to merge into one city.
Together, the three local units of government serve a little more than 5,000 people. The group supporting the merger points to an independent study that says it would save local taxpayers a million dollars a year.
On Wednesday the State Boundary Commission will decide if the petition to merge the municipalities is legal. A report from staff at the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory affairs shows that it is.
If the commission agrees, they’ll schedule a public hearing before voters would decide on the merge.
There are at least two other times a merger has happened in Michigan since the late 1960s. One was a small community in the western Upper Peninsula. The other was the City of Battle Creek and Battle Creek Township. A state staffer says the request is “uncommon”.