Brighton Township officials have decided not to spend money on economic development services by contracting with a local organization.

The Economic Development Council of Livingston County (EDCLC) contracts with Ann Arbor SPARK to provide a variety of services they say attracts and retains business to positively affect the area’s economic climate. Members of both organizations recently met with Brighton Township’s Board of Trustees, encouraging the municipality to contract with the EDCLC. The township had contracted with the EDCLC when it first partnered with SPARK, but chose not to renew after the agreement’s three-year term was up.

For the township, the services would cost nearly $23,000 annually. Money aside, officials also questioned the organizations’ transparency, which is an issue that has been raised by other local officials who say they’re unclear on how the funding is utilized. EDCLC Chair Rich Perlberg attended Brighton Township’s Monday meeting and spoke to that concern by stating, “We have nothing to hide.”

The Board of Trustees discussed a one-year agreement with the EDCLC, but a motion to approve the contract failed in a 5 to 2 vote. The County and Handy Township recently approved contracts with the EDCLC. Brighton Township joins Tyrone Township in the municipalities who have not. (DK)