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Dear Editor:

In recent years, Sand Lake has seen a book store, crystal shop, hair salon, veterinary, accounting, and tree services come into town, and some businesses that transferred ownership seem to be doing well. We’ve seen money spent on business and home improvements. We’ve also seen foreclosed homes sold, renovated, and resold or rented. Who would move to Sand Lake with our millage? The petitioners did. I can’t think of any Villagers who were born in, lived in, and have continued to live their entire adult lives in the same house for generations. Sand Lake residents have all moved into Sand Lake at one time or another. Some have purchased more than one home here.

Village fire and rescue operations are vital. Will Nelson Township assume all Village operational, insurance, and building utility costs for these operations? If someone else operates fire and rescue, Villagers will have to pay whatever they charge.

Sheriff’s Deputies police 8 Townships. They’re not here 40 hours a week. Sand Lake Police wrote 93 tickets for 133 different traffic offenses, have given 235 speeding warnings, and reported 108 incidents/complaints from January to mid-July. That’s 529 situations Deputies didn’t cover.

The $48,000 State revenue that would transfer to Nelson Township is an estimate, stated clearly on the State website, along with bold red type that says, “Acutual payments will differ from these estimates if the economy experiences a further slowdown.” The Township and Village received reduced revenue in past years. Nelson Township’s receiving that revenue doesn’t mean it will be spent on Sand Lake. The Township decides where that money’s spent. The same applies to cell phone antennae revenue. The cellular companies could possibly re-negotiate the discontinued contracts for lower rates, and there will still be legal fees to change those contracts.

The Road Commission has reduced services county-wide. We pay County taxes for reduced services. What happens when they run out of salt or run over budget? What about hte areas that they won’t plow? One local estimate we received from a local , licensed contractor for downtown snow removal is $790.00 for each plowing for the business district street fronts, municipal lot, and library. That doesn’t include business and residential alleyways. Who will pay this?

Nelson Township’s budget should be low for a township that splits all Village/Township building costs, has no police, fire, rescue, or public works departments, no township sewer or water, nor any associated costs for all these. Townships that have these amenities have higher budgets, higher millages, and user fees to go along with them. All five Kent County villages are smaller in size and population than Nelson Township (pop. 4,192 – 2000 census). Sparta is close – pop. 4,159 – 2000 census. Except for Casnovia, the rest have higher budgets than Nelson Township. All five, including Casnovia, have more services for their residents than Nelson Township.

Sincerely,

Dave Dewey

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