Shelby to Vote in March on Cost-Splitting Agreement Key to Court Relocation
The Shelby Township board is scheduled to vote March 5 on an agreement with Macomb Township that proposes a division of long-term costs should the 41A District Court relocate.
March 5 may be a turning point in the future of the 41A District Court as the Shelby Township board of trustees votes to approve or reject an agreement to divide long-term costs with Macomb Township should the court relocate.
The interlocal agreement was reportedly reached in January after more than three years of back-and-forth talks between Shelby Township, the current host of the court, and Macomb Township, which has expressed interest in building a new court provided certain personnel matters could be resolved.
One of the chief barriers to relocation talks has been the division of long-term costs associated with the court, specifically retiree health care and pensions.
As the court's host community is financially responsible for legacy costs, Macomb Township has been hesitant to welcome the institution with its estimated $8 million burden.
The proposed agreement, which is available in the gallery of this article and on the Shelby Township website, strives to resolve these issues.
Although the terms of the agreement will be binding if approved, the agreement itself does not compel Macomb Township to build a new court, but rather "serves to outline the Shelby and Macomb obligations for court employee financial benefits and obligations in the event Macomb builds a new court."
However, Shelby Township must approve the agreement if relocation talks are to continue.
- Shelby Township shall be responsible for retirement healthcare costs and life insurance for all employees hired before Nov. 1, 2010 who have retired prior to the opening (operation date) of a new court.
- Shelby will pay retirement healthcare costs and life insurance for some participants who retire after the new operation date. These cases are determined by a formula specified in the agreement.
- Macomb Township is responsible for any enhancement in health care plans or costs it negotiates.
- Macomb will assume responsibility for court employees' defined contribution pension plans after the new operation date but Shelby will remain responsible for the pensions of retired employees accrued prior to the new date.
- Shelby will administer all issues related to employment agreements with court personnel prior to the new operation date, with Macomb taking over any new issues that arise after the new date. This same schedule will be followed for administering collective bargaining agreements.
- Shelby will be responsible for all costs and expenses to operate the court prior to the new operation date, with Macomb taking over all new costs.
- Both communities will be responsible for the acts of their own officials and employees as well as the costs associated with those acts and any resulting defense.
The 41A District Court serves Shelby and Macomb townships as well as Utica. Space limitations prompted talks of moving the building to Macomb Township in 2009. Early talks proposed the construction of a new court in Macomb Township's government center at 25 Mile and Broughton.