Prison closing costs Fife Lake Township 40 percent of its population

May 25, 2018

Fife Lake
Credit Kjoles

A northern Michigan community lost 40 percent of its population between 2016 and 2017, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Fife Lake Township could soon lose tens of thousands of dollars in state funding due to the change. 

The township in Grand Traverse County lost population when Pugsley Correctional Facility closed in 2016. The federal government counts prisoners among other residents. 

Township Supervisor Linda Forwerck says the community – like all municpalities in Michigan – gets money from state sales tax revenue based on its total population. She says the township will be affected after the 2020 census. 

“In the future, when we lose that revenue sharing, we will be impacted greatly,” says Forwerck.

 Forwerck says Fife Lake Township stands to lose about $45,000 a year in state revenue sharing. 

 She says the township plans to hire additional help to work on economic development to make up for the loss.  

“We’re trying to address this in a business-type manner,” Forwerck says.