Agreement between county, Sylvan Township wards off lawsuit over loan payments
For the second time in a year, the voters of Sylvan Township will be confronted with a millage proposal to pay back the county for shouldering loan payments on a water and sewer project for a development that never came through.
After the township defaulted on its loan payment for the water and sewer project in May, the county picked up the bill. This year, the county will pay out $350,000 to cover the loan payment.
The agreement means the county won't pursue a lawsuit against the township, so long should the millage win voter approval on the August ballot.
The 4.4 mill tax would be levied first on the December tax bill and continue over the next 20 years.
An estimated $780,263 would be collected in the first year. A resident with a house with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $440 per year in taxes as a result of the millage.
The county would not begin to recoup costs until the last five years the millage is levied.
Sylvan Township voters defeated a millage in November for the same purpose - only at that time, they would be paying back their loan directly. Now, the township will be paying off the county.
“People in Sylvan Township are hurting,” said Commissioner Rob Turner, R-Chelsea.
Turner called the millage a bitter pill to swallow, but that it was a better alternative than going through a court judgment against the township.
Only 100 households have hookups to the water system that is currently causing the township so much grief, Turner said.
“To have to pay for something that you will never get any benefit from is very hurtful This is a difficult millage,” Turner said.
Washtenaw County Administrator Verna McDaniel said the county would still be able to meet its obligations on other bond payments with the passage of the millage.
Should the voters fail to pass the millage, McDaniel said the county would pursue legal action to get a payment from the township.