Amber Twp. board hears request to relocate health care practices to Scottville; takes no action on request.

April 26, 2016

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

AMBER TOWNSHIP — The Amber Township Board of Trustees heard a request Monday during its regular meeting by Dr. Lewis Squires to move his chiropractic practice and a neighboring dentist office into the jurisdiction of the City of Scottville.

Squires, owner of Squires Family Chiropractic, 414 W. US 10, and Dr. Nick Simone of Simone Family Dentistry, 440 W. US 10, are requesting Amber Township enter into a 425 agreement with the City of Scottville. Through the 425 agreement, the properties would fall under the city’s jurisdiction and would have access to municipal services such as police coverage, refuse pick-up and public transportation. The businesses sit just west of the city limits. A 425 agreement requires the property to border the municipality it is asking to move into.

The agreement was approved last week by the Scottville City Commission. However, Amber Township’s board wasn’t so quick to make the same move.

Squires, who was speaking on behalf of both businesses, told both the Scottville commission and Amber board that the main reason for the request is to allow patients access to Ludington Mass Transit Authority. The public transportation service operates in the cities of Ludington and Scottville and Pere Marquette Township, which each pay a millage. Amber Township does not pay a millage for the services, so the service is not available to destinations in that area, including the health care practices located feet from the city limits.

Squires also told the Scottville City Commission that he is making the request because the county’s zoning is too prohibitive. Scottville has its own zoning ordinance while Amber Township does not, and therefore is regulated by Mason County zoning.

Trustee Tom Alway asked Squires if he could be more specific about what issues he or Simone have had with the county zoning at their businesses. Simone’s building was erected in 2015 while Squires’ building is about 10 years old.

Squires said issues include parking spaces and some fencing. However, he considered those issues to be minor.

The site already has water and sewer services because it is along the US 10 corridor. However, whether or not those services would be billed by Scottville or Amber Township will need to be answered.

Township Supervisor Jim Gallie said the board would be discussing this topic at further meetings once he has spoken with the township’s attorney, Tracy Thompson, who is also the city of Scottville’s attorney.

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