Leighton refuses to rejoin Michigan Townships Association

Leighton Township has not been a member of the Michigan Townships Association for the past two years, and its absence will continue for at least one more.

The Township Board Thursday night voted unanimously to reject the MTA’s offer to bring them back into the fold at a cost $3,905.61, slightly more than what Leighton was paying when it pulled out two years ago. MTA sent a letter asking to have the relationship renewed.

Clerk Mary Lou Nieuwenhuis explained that “We didn’t think we were getting the benefit” (with membership).”

Leighton still is allowed to go to MTA training and workshops, but pays a different price than members.

Trustee John Hooker said, “They miss you. The real question is, do you miss them?”

Both Nieuwenhuis and Treasurer Charlotte Troost said no.

Nieuwenhuis added, “They’ve gotten a little too big for their britches. They said only a handful of townships in Michigan are not members.”

Supervisor Steve Deer then asked about big the hand is because he knows of more than a few in Allegan County alone.

In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the Township Board:

• Noted the public hearing on the proposed controversial air strip near 144th and Kalamazoo Avenue will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, July 10.

• Established rules for rent of the new township hall’s conference room. It will be open for public use from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. exclusing the noon hour Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Cost is $10.

• Heard a report from Deer that eight residential permits were issued in May in Leighton Township for a total value of $1.7 million. Year to date data shows 24 residential permits for a value of $6.8 million.

• Accepted the recommendation of a subcommittee to tweak rules on public comment at meetings, allowing people to speak for more than three minutes if needed.

• Agreed to an offer from Consumers Energy to have 19 lights changed at no cost from mercury vapor to high pressure sodium. Board members decided to change lights when they break or fail to LED at a cost of $75 per fixture on an as-needed basis.


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