May 09, 2012 - (In response to, "Detach Goodrich? Commission to decide if township, village will vote," The Citizen, May 5 page 1.)
A great deal of misinformation has been presented by village councilmen as fact when indeed it is just not true.
Sewers: We understand that the village is threatening to charge existing customers in the detachment area a " 500%
increase in sewer rates" if detachment is successful. Such desperate threats are standard when a city or village
is attempting to fight against a detachment. Essentially, the village's goal is to "scare" people into opposing the detachment.
When the village's tactic is probed, however, it is quite clear that the village is presenting misinformation that is legally wrong
according to legal counsel citing case law and Michigan Constitutional law. The village knows very well that its threats are empty,
because it lost a case on this very issue 15 years ago when it tried to impose a much smaller (50 precent) rate increase on customers
outside the village.
According to the Michigan Supreme Court, the village cannot unreasonably discriminate between its customers by charging higher
sewer rates based on where they live, and the village must base its sewer rates on the costs of sewer service. City of Novi v Detroit,
433 Mich 414: 446 NW 2d 118(1989) Further, under the Headlee amendment to the Michigan Constitution, any rates
imposed by the village that exceed the village's costs of service will be found to be unlawful " taxes." Mich Const 1963,art 9,§ 31.
According to the Genesee County Drain Commission (GCDC), responsibility for detached area sewers would be transferred to
Atlas Twp. to collect sewer use fees and forward them to the county. The sewers are held in a trust with the village as trustee for
the benefit of the property owners who are receiving the sewer service benefits.
Mill pond and dam: The village is already on record that they can no longer support the maintenance and /or repair of the Goodrich dam even before any detachment occurs. Detachment or lack thereof does not change this issue.
Snow removal: Genesee County Road Commission would plow and maintain the roads in the detached areas. Residents of Hillcrest Farms sub , 1.8 miles south of Mill Pointe Shores have had no issues with GCRC doing this.
Street lights: The township would take over the responsibility with a small special assessment to cover power costs for the lights.
Bullying, threats, and intimidation are unacceptable whether found in schools or on village councils. Government bodies
exist to serve the needs of the citizens, at their pleasure – not the reverse.
Residents Against Wasteful Government