Tyrone Township will not be renewing its contract with an agency focused on economic development.

For the last six years, the municipality has contracted the Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDC) to provide services for business retention and expansion by way of Ann Arbor SPARK. The county and several municipalities recently renewed their contracts with the EDC, but Tyrone Township will not be.

The Board of Trustees discussed the issue at their meeting Tuesday, reviewing the proposed agreement from the EDC that seeks $9,135 for services to be provided in the next calendar year. Not a single board member was in favor of renewing the contract, as many shared the feeling that they’re not entirely sure where the money previously invested has gone. Supervisor Mike Cunningham says the township has invested over $50,000 in the last six years, but doesn’t have a measurable of what they’ve received. Cunningham felt renewing was not feasible or in the best interest of residents’ tax dollars.

EDC chair Rich Perlberg attended Tuesday’s meeting and says when a proposal is not accepted, it was either not explained well enough or it was and the recipients simply didn’t buy the argument. He feels it’s a case of the latter and says though disappointed, he respects how the township handled the discussion.

Livingston County Commissioner Dave Domas also attended the township’s meeting. When the county voted to approve a one-year contract with the EDC, Domas voiced concerns over what he says is a lack of transparency, sharing feelings similar to that of the Tyrone Township Board of Trustees. Domas previously said it’s not been made clear what business partners the EDC and SPARK work with, or where the money goes. (DK)