Fact: Yes, it will cost money to form a new government unit, but likely far less than we're currently wasting every year by having two governments. What's more, Michigan's Economic Vitality Incentive Program, PA63, 2011, (EVIP) makes very substantial funds available to local communities specifically to defray consolidation expenses. How substantial? Onekama Township and Village recently earned a $355,000 EVIP grant to aid their consolidation. And according to Onekama's 2010 F-65 filings with the Michigan Treasury Department as shown at AccessMyGov.com, their total population--2,111--is nearly identical to Saugatuck and Douglas.
Hyperbole has been a consistent part of this rumor. For example, opponents have frequently alleged that creating a new city charter would be a daunting and wildly expensive legal undertaking. Not so. To the right are excerpts from the current two cities' respective charters. Notice anything? Except for the name of the city, they are in fact identical. To be sure, there are some different sections, but there are also quite a few other virtually identical sections. So when someone tells you how difficult it's going to be to write a new city charter, it's fair to respond, "A good part of the work's already done!"