Final name change meeting set for Thursday night

FLINT TWP. — How do you like the sound of Mott. Michigan? How about Genesee Hills, Landing View, Otterburn or Bishop Township. Those are just a few of more than 50 names that have been submitted for consideration by the township’s Suggestion Committee, which is charged with selecting a new name for the township. The group is scheduled to meet for the final time at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 30, to choose a new name and finalize its recommendation to the township board. A nomination form for new names has been posted on the township’s website and circulating since early March. The anticipated name selection procedure is to review the submitted names in alphabetical order, deciding by consensus which to consider. The elimination process will continue until the list is narrowed down. The chosen name along with other recommendations will be presented at a future date to the Flint Township Board, which is the ultimate authority for deciding whether to place the name-change question before voters, probably later this year. The Suggestion Committee was formed in September in response to renewed interest in changing the township’s name, brought on by the contaminated water crisis in Flint. Business owners have been adversely affected by confusion about the safety of Flint Township water which is supplied by Detroit, not the Flint River, which caused the problem in Flint. Township officials also have said that some prospective business owners were turned off by concerns about Flint water, despite assurances that Flint Township’s water is not affected. Some Committee members also voiced concerns about Flint crime and other stigma associated with sharing the city’s name. Some joined the committee hoping for a new zip code and mailing address. But research by the Committee found that the U.S. Postal Service is unlikely to agree to changing the zip code. As a result, the Flint mailing addresses for the township likely will not change, even after a name change. Some Committee members also hoped a name change would lower insurance rates. An insurance agent, speaking at a committee meeting, said that insurance rates are based on the number of claims, not location. Based on personal experiences, some Committee members disagreed. Among the positive reasons for renaming the township is that it would give the township its own identity and also represent a fresh start. Others questioned the cost which is yet to be determined. This is not the first time a township name change has come up. Interest has surfaced about four times in the past, dating back at least 30 years. After Thursday’s final Committee meeting, the matter moves into the hands of the township’s board.

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