Process in place for other cities to join collaborative
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – The City Council approved a shared assessor agreement with Melvindale at its July 1 meeting, following approval June 19 by the Melvindale City Council.
Lincoln Park Mayor Thomas Karnes said July 1 that the idea behind it is to provide a higher level of service to the residents of both communities, improve the level of reliability and quality of services, and to provide a long-term succession plan for assessors, as well as to control long-term costs associated with the assessment of real and personal property.
Karnes said the agreement determines how the cost of the collaborative will be allocated, the payment schedule and the framework for governance and oversight of the collaborative.
He said it also determines the terms for renewal and amendment, and a process by which other cities may join the collaborative.
Lincoln Park City Manager Matthew Coppler said July 1 that Melvindale’s one request for a change to the agreement was with respect to how payments would be made in future years.
“They wanted to go with an increase escalator, rather than look at each year and re-account for it,” Coppler said. “I ran a couple different scenarios, knowing what the next couple years’ employee costs are going to be, and I think it falls within that. I did put language in here that gives a little wiggle room, so that if there is some extraordinary cost increase, we can go back and talk about it.”
Coppler said June 17 that the plan would be cost effective for both cities and would improve services for residences of Lincoln Park and Melvindale, and the proposed agreement addresses most of the issues involved with running a collaborative office.
“The city of Lincoln Park will be the primary office for the collaborative, which will be staffed at all times,” Coppler said. “We will have two full-time people, with one of those individuals spending time in Melvindale.”
Coppler said one of the two assessment employees would spend a minimum of 24 hours per week at the Melvindale city offices, unless the Lincoln Park assessor is on vacation or leave, in which case the Lincoln Park location will receive staffing priority. He said there are Melvindale city employees who would be able to fulfill resident needs at their location when the second assessor is staffing the Lincoln Park location.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])