Genoa Township has reaffirmed its financial commitment to economic development services.

The board met Monday night and approved a contract with the Livingston County Economic Development Council. That local entity then contracts with Ann Arbor SPARK for business retention and recruitment services, among others. Some local municipalities have decided to opt out of the partnership in recent years but Genoa Township has remained firm in its support.

Genoa Township Supervisor Bill Rogers says a lot of things the EDC, county and townships do is not necessarily seen by the naked eye every day or it’s kind of overlooked. When looking at the numbers sometimes; he says it can be easy to get short sighted. He feels they benefit substantially by any development in a region, whether attracting people for jobs or residential growth – which in turn benefits the small business person so it’s all intermixed.

Rogers tells WHMI the township needs to be prepared for future growth and development. He says the township has utilized the EDC for professional input but also in seeking outside interest for attraction and marketing. He says they’re focused on getting prepared as there is a lot of development interest, especially along the Latson Road corridor with the I-96 exit there, which attracts businesses and/or residential.

Rogers stressed the need to look at the overall growth the township can have – meaning not just one building but potential residual because if one thing comes in, then there will likely be growth around that particular industry, whatever it might be. He pointed to St. Joseph Mercy Health System, Ascension Medical Center and the new University of Michigan Brighton Health Center in the area. He says there are a lot of people, doctors and medical-type industry that has been slowly moving in and working around it because of the convenience to those facilities so they’ve got to be prepared for it.

When talking about economic development in general, Rogers says there are a lot of potential customers and clients that are always asking for a tax break. He personally would rather sell them on the township’s attributes and not have to give up as much on that end but rather focus on growing together – versus granting a tax break and having them take off when it’s done.

The contract with the Livingston County Economic Development Council was approved unanimously in the amount of $22,939. (JM)