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Three West Michigan communities consider merging into one

Randolph, Travis.jpg
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Travis Randolph is part of the group petitioning the state to allow a vote to merge three West Michigan communities.

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”.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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