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Township will not contest lawsuit

Township will not contest lawsuit

By Judy Reed

Nelson Township spoke with their lawyers last week, and decided that they will not fight the lawsuit brought against them by the Village of Sand Lake over a petition to disincorporate the Village.

The Village of Sand Lake filed the lawsuit late last month, contesting the sufficiency of the petition. “We’re saying that it’s not enough to consider the signatures. You also must consider whether it’s facially defective,” Village president Kirk Thielke told the Post last week.

The petition, circulated by two members of the Sand Lake planning commission, asked to disincorporate the Village, and transfer all usages to Nelson Township. Thielke and others argue that cannot be done, because certain Village services cannot be transferred to the township, including roads, the water system, and police.

Nelson Township certified the petition, and scheduled it to go on the ballot next summer. Sand Lake filed the lawsuit in 17th Circuit Court so that a judge could decide whether the petition was sufficient.

Nelson Township Supervisor Glen Armstrong said that the township lawyers, Mika Meyers Beckett and Jones, recommended that they file a summary disposition, letting the judge know how they feel about the matter. “We think the petition is legal, but we’ll let the judge decide,” he explained.

Thielke was pleased with the decision of the township. “We (he and Armstrong) had talked about a consent action, but this way they are showing diligence on behalf of the petition,” he said. “It’s a smart decision on their part.”

He noted that it might look like it is Sand Lake against Nelson Township, but that in reality, that isn’t the case. “We’re working together to resolve this the best way for both parties,” explained Thielke. “I anticipate that no matter how this turns out, we’ll remain friends.”

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