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Township approves treasurer pay hike

Marie Havenga • Apr 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Spring Lake Township residents recently approved a pay increase for the municipality’s treasurer position at the township’s annual meeting.

Township Treasurer Jim Koster's pay will climb from $12,000 to $18,000 a year.

Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said Koster will be performing more duties, including the collection of Spring Lake Village taxes.

“He's also retired from his career job, so he'll have more time to spend on those kinds of things,” Gallagher said. “The treasurer wage was actually reduced 12 or 14 years ago when Lou Draeger was in. That (raising Koster's salary) was something the board felt strongly about.”

The rest of the board members’ salaries will remain the same — $15,600 for the supervisor, $32,000 for the clerk and $6,000 for trustees.

Last year, trustees received a significant pay hike — from $3,000 to $6,000 per year.

In addition to the above salaries, Township Supervisor John Nash will receive an additional $45 per hour for about 600 hours ($27,000) per year of non-statuatory duties, such as attending extra meetings with local, county and state organizations.

Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma will receive an extra $42,237 for non-statuatory duties she performs, including accounts payable and payroll.

The township has been paying the clerk and supervisor for “above and beyond” work for about 10 years, according to Gallagher.

“A different elected official may not do that or may not have the skill set to do that,” Gallagher said.

The justification when the move was first made by board members a decade ago was that they would have to hire an outside person to perform the tasks if Nash and Boersma did not.

“I feel confident saying the Spring Lake Township Board really is a hardworking and good fiscally conservative group of board members,” Gallagher said.

Koster will handle the village property taxes, beginning with the July tax bill. Village residents will still pay village taxes, but the amount will be on a single bill that also includes township taxes.

Gallagher said he thinks residents will enjoy the convenience of writing one check instead of two to cover their property tax liabilities.

“The amount of the one bill will be similar to what the two bills were,” he explained. “We're not talking about a millage reduction — it's just a paperwork reduction.”

Gallagher gave the example of a village taxpayer paying $2,000 to the township and $1,000 to the village. In the new scenario, the same taxpayer would write out a single check for $3,000 for his or her summer tax bill, which is due Sept. 14.

The township will receive 1 percent of each village tax bill as compensation for administering the village's tax payments.

This won't cost village taxpayers additional money. They have already been paying a 1 percent administrative fee to the village. That amount will now simply go to the township.

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