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Holland Council, Saugatuck Twp. Board to Meet


(undated - WHTC News) - It won’t be the run-of-the-mill get-togethers for two municipal panels tonight.

While there is a special business meeting prior to the Holland City Council’s bi-weekly work-study session, what is officially decided beforehand may take a back seat to what will be only discussed afterwards. During the meeting, council is expected to approve bids for resurfacing 24th Street between Waverly and Country Club, Waverly between 48th and M-40, and removing the aging boiler at the Civic Center. When the work-study session begins, council will be joined by the Holland BPW Board, who will argue again for approval of a request three percent electric rate hike to offset expenses in operations and infrastructure maintenance. An initial request was shot down two months ago, in part because the utility had asked for and received an eight percent water rate increase, and council didn’t want to give customers the old one-two. A final decision on this may come during next week’s business meeting.

Meanwhile, the ongoing legal battle between developer Aubrey McClendon and Saugatuck Township is the subject of a meeting tonight. The township’s board will huddle with its attorneys behind closed doors to go over options in a lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma tycoon in federal court. McClendon is asking that zoning restrictions be lifted in order for him to build a luxury condo-resort on some pristine dune land at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. This meeting may be an offshoot of a 350 thousand-dollar settlement between McClendon and the Township that settled tax issues, but was done by the township supervisor without implicit board approval beforehand. In May, the township asked for and received a half-mill tax increase to pay for a legal war chest in the battle with McClendon, with ballot mishandling fouling up any attempt to recount the slim two-vote margin of passage.

The Holland City Council's meeting is in the second-floor Training Center of City Hall, beginning at 5:30; the Saugatuck Township Board gets together at 6 PM in the Township Hall on Blue Star Highway.

-Gary Stevens, WHTC/WYVN News