It appears as though a local municipality is bowing out of a participation agreement for county-wide economic development services.

The Livingston County Economic Development Council has an agreement with Ann Arbor-based SPARK to provide economic development, recruitment and retention services in the area.

Livingston County is the largest contributor financially but most all local municipalities participate, with the exception of some smaller rural communities. Genoa Township already participates and the contract is an annual item, with the cost for services totaling $22,600. It was on the agenda at Monday night’s board meeting.

Member Jim Mortenson raised some questions about those involved and it was stated that Brighton Township is no longer going to be participating in SPARK. The perceived understanding was that Brighton Township did not recognize the regional benefit and claimed it would be doing this type of service internally. Mortenson called that “troubling” and asked that staff gather further clarification in why Brighton Township dropped out. A request for comment has been placed with Manager Brian Vick.

Meanwhile, the Genoa Township board ultimately tabled the item and agreed to seek a presentation from SPARK since there some new board members following last November’s election that are unfamiliar with the organization and services provided.

A link to information from SPARK about Livingston County services is provided. (JM)