Springdale contracts with county for assessing services

ManisteeCountyLogoMANISTEE — In keeping with the government trend of consolidation, Manistee County will begin providing assessing services to Springdale Township this year.

For about $22,000, the Manistee County Equalization Department will take on all assessing functions for the township, including inspecting properties that have new building permits, conducting boards of review, assessing land values and inspecting 20 percent of each class of property each year. Those duties are the state recommendations for assessing.

“We work well with them, so it works real good for us,” said Brian Moore, Springdale Township supervisor. “We’re happy that we found somebody. The state has made so many new rules that it’s hard to get someone qualified. We had to get someone, and we were running out of time.”

The township needed a new assessor in place before the July board of review meeting. The previous assessor retired at the end of May.

Both the township and Manistee County Board of Commissioners approved the contract at their most recent meetings. The county board met Tuesday.

Many counties around Michigan, including Wexford, Muskegon and Grand Traverse, have begun offering assessing to townships, said Roger Elbers, Manistee County equalization director.

The contract won’t require the county to hire additional staff. However, additional contracts in the future could lead to the need for more staff, said Tom Kaminski, county controller and administrator, at Tuesday’s meeting.

“This is really happening perfectly because Springdale Township is a less complicated township to start with. It doesn’t have a lot of industry, so it’s easier for (the department) to do it. … It’s a good, consolidated effort; it’s what the governor wants. It’s part of (the county’s) strategic plan to consolidate services.”

The county’s services will be a little more expensive than the previous assessor, but the county is doing more work, Moore said.

With this initial contract, a fee structure has been set up with different costs for each class of parcel, from residential to agriculture to industrial. Those numbers will be used in any future contracts, Elbers said.

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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