MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — Economic development dominos continue to fall in place with this township’s board becoming the next in line to dedicate funds toward the Montcalm Alliance to support a contract with The Right Place.
Montcalm Township becomes the first township in Montcalm County to commit funds toward an agreement with The Right Place, a West Michigan economic development organization. The township board agreed to dedicate $1,000 per year for the next three years.
Montcalm Township joins the city of Greenville ($5,000 annually for three years) and the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners ($25,000 annually for three years). The county has historically contributed $5,000 per year to the Alliance. Howard City has also committed funds to economic development, according to Montcalm County Commissioner John Johansen of Montcalm Township.
The dedicated money will strictly support the funding of a Right Place staff member who will focus on economic development primarily in the county.
“Economic development has been a big topic of discussion for the past several months,” said Montcalm Township Supervisor Michael Adams. “I think economic development is something that is important and we all need to contribute to.
“I’d like to encourage other townships to jump on board,” he added.
The commitment was unanimously approved Wednesday.
“This is close to home, it’s in our neighborhood and it is something we need desperately around here,” Adams said.
Clerk Carol Rosebrook agreed.
“To have a dedicated person full time in Montcalm County would be tremendous,” she said.
Greenville reached an agreement last month with the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce to enter into a contract with The Right Place. The $5,000-per-year commitment was a portion of the $50,000 annual cost for the city and chamber’s contract with The Right Place.
Greenville resident and Chamber member Bill Braman has donated $25,000 annually for three years toward the Greenville contract, leaving $20,000 per year to be raised by the Chamber.
Chamber Co-director Candy Kerschen has expressed in the past she believes that is a feasible goal.
Greenville city officials have stated they hoped their actions would serve as a “springboard,” for a countywide commitment to a contract with The Right Place and with more municipalities jumping on board, the tactic appears to be working.
“We’re on the track to be able to get to the $120,000,” Johansen told Montcalm Township Board members Wednesday.
As additional entities in the county commit to a contract, all funds will be forwarded to the county, effectively creating a joint effort with Greenville, according to Johansen.