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an overview of kalamazoo county
An Overview of Kalamazoo County

This Overview in PowerPoint format was originally prepared for a class of Leadership Kalamazoo, a program of the Regional Chamber of Commerce devoted to preparing diverse groups of citizens by nurturing leadership skills and promoting an understanding of the community.

It was assembled by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation as part of its staff’s community involvement. Historical and legal displays are used and were gained with the help of Pat Norris and Tom Deitz of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Duane Triemstra, Tom Canny, and Tim Snow of Kalamazoo County Government as well as the internet. The presentation is is intended for instructional purposes and not as an academically researched document. Names, dates, and other events have not been confirmed by research in official government records and local jurisdiction maps are approximate. Additionally, the presentation is intended for narration in conjunction with the presentation of the PowerPoint document, although some informative slides have been incorporated for this link.

The presentation will be updated from time to time. Please call Wes Freeland at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, 269-381-4416, or e-mail him at wfreeland@kalfound.org for any suggestions you might have.

It was requested to be linked to the significant efforts of Dr. Kiran Cunningham and Dr. Hannah McKinney, Associate Professors at Kalamazoo College, in land use planning and growth and, therefore, this brief background was prepared. It begins when things were mighty cold here. Please enjoy it.

slide2

Michigan as it appeared 14,500 years ago

1

Approximate location of present day Kalamazoo County

slide4

After the Glaciers

As the climate became warmer and drier, between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago, a cool mesic hardwood forest with ash, oak, elm, maple, birch, and hickory trees grew in the midwest. About 8,300 years ago, the climate became substantially warmer and drier, and within the relatively short time of 500 to 800 years, most of the forests in southwestern Michigan died out or got burned down, except along stream banks, and prairies spread over the landscape.  During the last 1,000 years the climate has become slightly cooler and wetter, making conditions more favorable to trees. 

slide6

Following the Moundbuilders, the earliest written records tell of the Sioux frequently occupying the region followed by the Mascoutin and the Miami and then lastly by the Pottawatomi Tribe, a branch of the greater Algonquin people.

slide8

The Northwest Territory

was created- July 13 1787

slide9

The Northwest Territory

The Ordinance of July 13, 1787 provided "...there shall be formed in said territory, not less than three nor more than five states..." The original boundaries were defined as: Eastern State (numbers 1,2,3,4); Middle State (numbers 5,6,7,8,9) and Western State (numbers 10,11,12,13,14,15). These divisions are marked by broken lines on the map.

Congress later decided to divide the Northwest Territory into the states of Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848) and Minnesota (1858); as shown by the heavy solid lines on the map.

Map Source: Biographical Directory-General Assemblyof Ohio 1929-1930: Columbus, 1931.

slide10

Indian Treaty of 1795

Opened the Northwest Territory to Settlement

And set aside the Match-e-b-nash-e-wish Reservation, a large portion of what was to become Kalamazoo County

slide11

According to Dr. Willis Dunbar’s Kalamazoo and How it Grew the first settler of the area was probably a British fur trader named Burrell who in 1795 spent the winter at his trading post near what is now Riverside Cemetery.

Winter of 1795

slide12

The Indian (Chicago) Treaty of 1821 opened Match-e-b-nash-e-wishto settlement

Then

The Indian Treaty of 1833in part reads

ARTICLE 3d--All the Indians residing on the said reservations in Michigan shall remove therefrom within three years from this date --

slide13

The Building of Present Day Kalamazoo County

Frenchman

Numaiville

1st permanent

Trading Post

Bazel Harrison

another early

Settler

1828

Late 1828

Enoch Harris

first

African American

Settler

Titus Bronson June 21, 1829

June 20, 1831

slide14

Brady Township Formed 11-15-1829

Brady Township comprised the 576 square miles representing what is now Kalamazoo County. However, Brady Township also included present day Barry county and all unorganized lands as far north as the Grand River

slide15

Kalamazoo County 7-30-1830

Included Barry, Calhoun and Eaton counties

slide17

Kalamazoo County - 1831

Arcadia Township 7-30-1831

Bronson Village3-12-1831

Brady Township

Village of Schoolcraft 10-5-1831

slide18

Kalamazoo County – 1832/1833

Arcadia Township

Richland Township 5-12-1832

Bronson Village

Brady Township

Village of Schoolcraft

slide19

Kalamazoo County – 1834/1835

Arcadia Township

Richland Township

Bronson Village

Comstock Township 3-7-1834

Brady Township

Village of Schoolcraft

slide20

Kalamazoo County - 1836

Richland Township

KalamazooTownship 3-3-1836

Village of Augusta 1836

Kalamazoo Village 3-3-1836

Comstock Township

Brady Township

Village of Schoolcraft

slide21

Kalamazoo County – 1836 (continued)

Richland Township

Kalamazoo Township

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Village

Comstock Township

Pavilion Township 3-23-1836

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township 3-23-1836

Brady Township

slide22

original scale 1:2,500,000 U.S.G.S. 1972 limited update 1990 (301K)

MICHIGANAdmitted as a State January 26,1837

slide23

Kalamazoo County - 1837

Cooper Township 3-11-1837

Richland Township

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Village

Village of Galesburg 9-8-1837

Kalamazoo Township

Comstock Township

Pavilion Township

Climax Township 12-30-1837

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township

Brady Township

slide24

Kalamazoo County – 1838/1839

Ross Township 3-21-1839

Alamo Township 3-6-1838

Cooper Township

Richland Township

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Township

Oshtemo Township 3-22-1839

Charleston Township 3-6-1838

Comstock Township

Kalamazoo Village

Village of Galesburg

Texas Township 3-6-1838

Portage Township 3-23-1838

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township

Brady Township

slide25

Kalamazoo County – 1840/1845

Ross Township

Alamo Township

Cooper Township

Richland Township

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Township

Oshtemo Township

Charleston Township

Comstock Township

Kalamazoo Village

Village of Galesburg

Texas Township

Portage Township 3-23-1838

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township 2-12-1842

Brady Township 2-12-1842

slide26

Kalamazoo County - 1846/1888

Village of Richland 3-18-1871

Alamo Township 3-6-1838

Cooper Township

Richland Township

Ross Township

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Township

Oshtemo Township 3-22-1839

Charleston Township

Comstock Township

City of Kalamazoo 4-14-1884

Village of Galesburg

Texas Township 3-6-1838

Portage Township 3-23-1838

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township

Brady Township

Wakeshma Township 3-25-1846

slide27

Kalamazoo County – 1899/1963

Village of Richland

Alamo Township 3-6-1838

Cooper Township

Richland Township

Ross Township

City of Parchment 2-24-1939

Village of Augusta

Kalamazoo Township

Oshtemo Township 3-22-1839

Charleston Township

Comstock Township

City of Kalamazoo

Galesburg City 1931

Village of Climax 1899

Texas Township 3-6-1838

City of Portage 12-31-63

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township

Brady Township

Wakeshma Township

slide28

Kalamazoo County – 1964/2003

Richland Village

Alamo Township

Cooper Charter Township

Richland Township

Ross Township

City of Parchment

Augusta Village

Kalamazoo Charter Township

Comstock Charter Township

Oshtemo Charter Township

Charleston Township

Kalamazoo Charter Township

City of Kalamazoo

City of Galesburg

Village of Climax

Texas Charter Township

City of Portage

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Village of Vicksburg

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township

Brady Township

Wakeshma Township

slide29

Whew! We’re still not done – let’s look at the property tax structure

slide30

Cooper Charter Township

From Nine Dozen Schools to

4

Richland Village

Alamo Township

Richland Township

Ross Township

6

Kalamazoo Charter Township

City of Parchment

Nine Public School Districts

1 – Climax Scotts

2 – Comstock

3 – Galesburg/Augusta

4 – Gull Lake

5 – Kalamazoo

6 – Parchment

7 – Portage

8 – Schoolcraft

9 - Vicksburg

Augusta Village

Comstock Charter Township

Oshtemo Charter Township

Charleston Township

Kalamazoo Charter Township

2

City of Kalamazoo

3

City of Galesburg

5

Village of Climax

Texas Charter Township

City of Portage

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

7

1

Village of Schoolcraft

Village of Vicksburg

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township

Brady Township

Wakeshma Township

9

8

today s kalamazoo county property tax entities
County

Four Cities

Five Villages

Fifteen Townships

Twelve Library Districts

Fifteen Primary School Districts

Five Intermediate School Districts

Three Community College Districts

Three Downtown Development Authorities

Four TIFA and two LDFA Districts

Today’s Kalamazoo CountyProperty Tax Entities
slide32

Your Property Tax Bills

County Tax Bill

LDFAs

City or Township Tax Bill

$

Village Tax Bill

School Tax Bill

KRESA Tax Bill

KVCC Tax Bill

Library Tax Bill

Development Authority Tax Bill

TIFAs

$

$

slide34

Richland Village

Alamo Township

CooperCharterTownship

Richland Township

Ross Township

City of Parchment

Augusta Village

Kalamazoo CharterTownship

25

Municipal Governments

Comstock CharterTownship

Oshtemo Charter Township

Charleston Township

Kalamazoo Charter Township

City of Kalamazoo

City of Galesburg

Village of Climax

Texas Charter Township

City of Portage

Pavilion Township

Climax Township

Village of Schoolcraft

Village of Vicksburg

Prairie Ronde Township

Schoolcraft Township

Brady Township

Wakeshma Township

county governments
County Governments
  • Created by the Territorial Legislature
  • A creature of the State
    • Predisposed to meet a wide variety of constitutional, statute, and case-law responsibilities and services enacted over 170 years.
  • General powers enable the provision of non-mandated services
  • Funded by property taxes and a myriad of other state and federal revenues
  • De-minimus ordinance making authority
  • Highly dominated by elected officials
  • A trapezoid structure
charter county governments
Charter County Governments
  • Initiated by county board resolution or by petition
  • Provides for elected county executive
    • veto power
  • Nothing else changes including ordinance making authority
home rule cities
Home Rule Cities
  • Created by incorporation under Michigan statutory authority
  • Provides a variety of specific general services
  • Funded by property taxes and other revenues
  • Has significant ordinance-making authority
  • Highly dominated by appointed officials
  • An almost classic pyramid structure
general law townships
General Law Townships
  • Created by Territorial Legislature or Michigan legislative act
  • Provides specific general services authorized by statute
  • Funded by property taxes and other revenues
  • Has significant ordinance-making authority
  • Highly dominated by elected officials
  • Generally a pyramid structure
  • Can be annexed with approved ballot resolution in both units
    • or if population density is less than 100 in the area to be annexed the approval of the State Boundary Commission only is required
charter townships
Charter Townships
  • Created by incorporation under Michigan statutory authority
  • Can occur by ballot question or township board resolution
  • Must provide certain basic services such as police, fire, etc.
  • Millage rate is higher if approved by the people
  • Cannot be annexed without a vote of the people of the annexing unit and the unit proposed for annexation or by agreement of both units under Michigan Act 425 (revenue sharing) for periods of up to 50 years
villages
Villages
  • Created by incorporation under Michigan statutory authority
  • Provides specific general services
  • Funded by property taxes and other revenues
  • Has some ordinance-making authority
  • Dominated by administrative officials
  • Generally a pyramid structure
  • Can add or subtract land with approval of county commission