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Posted on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Sylvan Township condo association requests annexation meeting with Chelsea officials

By Lisa Allmendinger

Chelsea Springs, a Sylvan Township subdivision on the outskirts of Chelsea, has requested a meeting with Chelsea officials to discuss possible annexation into the city.

On Nov. 16, the Chelsea Springs Board of Directors sent an email to John Hanifan, Chelsea’s city manager, stating “Chelsea Springs would like to begin a conversation on the mutual benefits of Chelsea Springs Condominium Development annexing into the City of Chelsea.”

The email states that “the residents and Board of Directors representing Chelsea Springs are extremely dissatisfied with the services provided for water and sewer by the Sylvan Township. We also have grave concerns with the uncertainty of the political and financial stability of Sylvan Township.”

Sylvan Township voters rejected a 4.75 mill tax levy this month that would pay for about $13.2 million in sewer and water system debt as well as $1.25 million owed to the Washtenaw County treasurer over 20 years, which are the result of a lawsuit by a developer.

When contacted about the request, Sylvan Township Supervisor Bob Lange said he wasn’t aware of the Chelsea Springs request for possible annexation.

The residents want to discuss “options, logistics and costs associated with annexation,” as well as “the transfer of Coliseum Drive to the city, sewer and water connection and metering regulations and requirements necessary for annexation,” the email states.

In addition, they’d like to discuss police, garbage and street lighting, the email states.

Hanifan said, “The (annexation) process is fairly complicated,” and offered the next step of arranging a meeting to begin discussion.

When pressed by Councilman Bill Holmberg for the additional tax revenue to the city if Chelsea Springs were annexed in, Hanifan said a ball park figure would be $30,000-$50,000 annually, but would have more solid numbers for the City Council in December.

Currently, Sylvan Township residents pay less have 1 mill in township taxes while Chelsea residents pay 13.155 mills.

Hanifan recommended that a subcommittee of three City Council members be formed to meet with and the Chelsea Springs’ residents.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.


Rod in Chelsea

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

And isn't it funny that Mr Lange, our fear(less) leader never mentioned this last night?? Yet more secrets..............

Patrick Zieske

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

Let them go. Since Chelsea Springs and Sylvan Crossing are the only subdivisions being served by the water tower, let them go over to Chelsea and Chelsea's water system. When that's done, tear down the Sylvan water tower. Sure, we would still have to pay the debt, but at least there would be no more maintenace and operations costs -- which, as we learned in last night's Township Board meeting, are not being covered by revenues. What I've just described might not be the optimal solution for Sylvan's financial predicament. But it is one of many ideas that ought to be explored. Ironically, without knowing about Chelsea Springs' request beforehand, I mentioned this same idea in the Board meeting. My comment was received as if it was quite far outside the box. Well, thanks to this article, now we know that it is one step closer to reality. It's about time we seriously explored this and other options for a deal with Chelsea or other third-party interests.