At the May 23 Emmet County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board rejected the recommendations from their recently formed Ad Hoc Committee regarding granting special allowance for Emmet County to rejoin the NLEA. These recommendations had already been approved by the NLEA Board.
Based on this action, Emmet County is not a member of the NLEA. (NLEA response can be found here.)
The recommendations were a two-part agreement. First was a multi-year (4 years) agreement that allowed for a reduced membership rate for Emmet County as they work through their stated budget challenges. Rather than reduce services, the other three counties and the NLEA Board agreed to make up the shortfall by paying a higher proportionate amount and generating income from other sources. This agreement was to begin in January 2020.
The second part of the agreement package was a “bridge agreement”, also at a reduced rate for Emmet County that would enable services to begin immediately and “bridge the gap” between today and when the multi-year agreement begins.
These recommendations were developed by a 14-member ad hoc committee consisting of three representatives from each county (Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet) and the NLEA. All parties agreed to the value of the NLEA and working regionally for economic development. It was also in the spirit of partnership that Emmet was granted budget relief over the next several years.
Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, the NLEA has offered several times to assist Emmet County. The Emmet County Board of Commissioners had agreed to re-do the funding formula, and on three occasions offered and/agreed to a reduction in Emmet membership fees.