DOUGLAS, MI (WHTC) - As groups for and against a proposed merger of Saugatuck and Douglas into a single governmental entity say that they will submit enough valid petition signatures to get the matter before voters, either this August or this November, the councils of the two cities are expected to study more closely the costs of consolidation. The Saugatuck City Council last Monday approved allocating five thousand dollars for retaining the Citizens Research Council of Michigan to conduct such a probe; the Douglas City Council may concur spending a similar amount this evening. State officials have recommended a merger for a variety of economic reasons, with a February 18th deadline for petition submissions to have the issue be on the local ballot. Proponents of consolidation say that it will save the community money; opponents question those claims.
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