BOC approves keeping Abstract as separate department

Dave Lein, Editor

BELLAIRE – Antrim County will continue to stand alone among Michigan’s other 82 counties.  While that might be admirable in most circumstances, it recently became a point of contention regarding a local government post.

Antrim is reportedly the only county in Michigan to have a separate Abstract Department. Primarily the Register of Deeds or Treasurer’s office in each county has absorbed those duties, or contracted for services with an outside agency.

The issue came up recently as current longtime county Abstract Director Theresa Kent announced her intention to retire this June. It was first discussed during the Board of Commissioners’ Administration Committee meeting on March 1, and four days later at the March 5 Finance Committee meeting, which resulted in a recommendation for the board to consider at its regular meeting on Thursday, March 8.

The recommendation was “for the Board of Commissioners to keep the Abstract Department open and continue to provide services with a department head.”

According to minutes from the Finance Committee meeting, County Administrator Pete Garwood brought up the issue because all Commissioners are members of the committee and that there was a timing issue regarding employees in the abstract department.

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