Representatives of all jurisdictions contiguous to the City of Kalamazoo, plus three principal support agencies, were surveyed in person, between November 1 and 15, 1996, to assess intergovernmental coordination conditions and directions. Information provided by the metropolitan area's governmental jurisdictions and supporting agencies defines a pattern of a consistent and increasing area-wide disposition to coordinated planning across a range of public services.

The principal topics of intergovernmental coordination between the City of Kalamazoo and contiguous jurisdictions include:

1. Water and waste-water/utilities and wellhead protection planning;

2. Public Safety/mutual aid (police & fire)/central dispatch;

3. Metro Transit/busing;

4. Adjoining streets' and roads' configuration/naming;

5. Waste ordinance work/hazardous waste materials clean-up;

6. Environmental quality protection/Kalamazoo River;

7. Economic development;

8 Land use/zoning;

9. Recreation/River Trailways.

Three major themes emerge from the interviews: (1) jurisdictions expect access to coordination activities that relate to their own policy; (2) jurisdictions seek coordination to provide desired services in balance with economic resources and local prerogatives; and, (3) jurisdictions look to coordination as a means to deal with disaster, high risk situations, or other threats.

A fourth important theme emerged. The theme is that ever-increasing-coordination of resource generation and services delivery systems is appearing -- with the implication that there is a need for area-wide [strategic] planning.

The City of Kalamazoo participates in general purpose intergovernmental coordination with the City of Parchment, City of Portage, Charlestown Township, Comstock Township, Cooper Township, Kalamazoo Township, Oshtemo Township, Ross Township, and Kalamazoo County. The areas where intergovernmental coordination is done include utilities, mutual aid agreements, transit, roads, solid waste, environmental protection, economic development, and recreation. The City also participates with Kalamazoo County in intergovernmental coordination in dealing with revenue and capital improvements. There is no intergovernmental coordination between the City and the other contiguous jurisdictions, except the County, for revenue and capital improvements. There is also no coordination between the City and any of the contiguous jurisdictions, including the County, for land-use controls.

Survey comments from individuals representing area governments can be found in Appendix A.

Appendix A: ResultsIntergovernmental Planning Coordination Survey

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