According to Kent County Administrator/Controller Daryl Delabbio, saving money while delivering top notch services continues to be a top priority in West Michigan. With this in mind, Kent County and Montcalm County plan to enter an agreement where Kent County will provide Equalization services for Montcalm County.
Montcalm County is required by state law to have an Equalization Director certified as a Michigan Master Assessing Officer (4). Kent County’s Equalization Director has the required MMAO (4) designation. Rather than hire a new director, Montcalm contacted Kent County, to see if there was a more cost-effective solution. The counties reached an agreement to contract with Kent County for this need for the next year. Montcalm County will pay Kent County for the services rendered.
Delabbio said Kent County has a long history of collaborating with other government units, and after looking at the additional effort required, found that collaborating with Montcalm would be beneficial to both counties. He believes that efficiencies can be gained while saving taxpayers in both counties money.
“The economic realities of the past decade mean we have to look for ways to be lean,” said Delabbio. “We see this as one more way to use tax dollars efficiently and effectively through collaboration.”
Kent County Equalization Director Matt Woolford will work one day a week from Montcalm County offices in Stanton while maintaining connections to both county offices. “The equalization staff at Montcalm has been doing a good job during this period of vacancy,” Woolford said. “I look forward to working with the Assessors and staff in Montcalm County.”
Equalization is responsible for property appraisal and mapping functions on behalf of taxpayers and municipalities. The staff updates property descriptions for area municipalities, creates map products and maintains property information records for reference by local municipalities, title companies, realtors, developers, surveyors, environmental companies, architectural and engineering firms and the general public.