Laurium, Calumet should be merged

To the editor:

As a former resident of the Calumet area, I have been reading about the challenges faced by the Village of Calumet. The village obviously has been struggling financially to meet the needs for obtaining new snow moving equipment and other services.

When you look at the services and infrastructure of the three municipalities of the area; The Village of Calumet, Calumet Township and the Village of Laurium, there are probably several overlapping services, departments and infrastructure functions that could be combined.

I serve on a City Council in the community where I live downstate. Like many villages and cities across the State of Michigan, state revenue sharing is shrinking and a tax base is not growing. Quite simply, you have to do more with less and this often involves being creative with your budget or looking at alternatives and what services and infrastructure can be shared or combined across municipalities.

In my city, we meet quarterly with our townships and have formed a group called “The Council of Governments”. The function of this group is to work more closely with the city and surrounding townships in order to review common ground issues and where we can share resources and services.

Aristotle once said, The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts. This certainly is true when delivering the same services to a surrounding community. The leadership in the Calumet area should seriously consider the potential of consolidating services wherever possible. It may reduce the overall costs to all municipalities based on the economy of scale.

To accomplish this kind of cooperation, individuals need to leave their egos at the door and look at the overall picture and benefit to all. What are the common issues facing each municipality? Where can you join forces instead of going it alone? What can be done to improve the infrastructure and services delivered to the community as a whole?

In these tough economic times, it seems like there should be a closer alliance between the three government entities in the Calumet area. I have often thought, “Why Doesn’t the Village of Calumet, Calumet Township and The Village of Laurium consolidate into one town?” Join forces and call the new town Calumet-Laurium.

With shrinking revenues and a decreasing population, there may be a day when absorbing into one government entity becomes not necessarily a choice, but a hard-economic reality.

Mike Harri

Eaton Rapids, Michigan