Review and update a tedious necessity


The Imlay Twp. board will be spending the next several months reviewing and updating their Master Plan. Pictured left to right are Clerk Carla Jepsen, Supervisor Rick Farkas, Treasurer Melanie Priehs, Trustees Michael Guerin and Chad Stolt.

IMLAY TWP. — As many communities do, the Imlay Twp board is tackling the monumental task of reviewing their Master Plan.

Supervisor Rick Farkas told the board at a recent meeting, “We need to get this done and will be having regular meetings in the coming weeks to look it over and see if any changes are needed.”

Currently, the document explains, “When developing a master plan, it is important to perform background studies to identify the nature and character of the community’s natural and human characteristics.”

The document went on to say, “While an evaluation of the community’s current situation provides insight into immediate needs and deficiencies, projections provide a basis for determining future land use requirements, public facility needs and essential services.”

Supervisor Farkas extended an open invitation to the public to be a part of the process and received emails from those wanting to be involved.

The township feels, “By examining socioeconomic characteristics such as population, income, and employment base, a community can identify trends and opportunities that will influence future land use decisions and policy choices.”

According to the document, since certain socioeconomic analyses have an identifiable impact upon the future of a community, appropriate sections have been detailed to relate social trends to future economic considerations. Secondly, the socioeconomic characteristics of a community does not function in a vacuum.

This community profile relies on several key data sources. Figures from the decennial U.S. Census reports, including the most recent 2020 Census, are utilized, where available.

Imlay Township’s population trends with Imlay City, Almont Township, Attica Township, Lapeer County, and the State of Michigan in various cases.

The units of government compared show varying degrees of population change between 1980 and 2020. Imlay Township’s population during this time increased by 39.2%, higher than the County and State.

In comparison, the population of Michigan increased by only 8.8%, while the county as a whole increased by 26.5%.

Over the past decade (2010 and 2020), Imlay Township’s population decreased by 0.4%. This was the second lowest change by percentage of all the units of government compared in the table.

The Master Plan reports population growth has slowed within the Lapeer area, with several communities experiencing a decline or stagnation in population.

The population for Lapeer County is expected to decrease by the year 2045 to 85,115 citizens (a decrease of 3.9 percent from its 2020 population of 88,619).

According to the current township Master Plan, assuming that Imlay Township follows the Lapeer County trend, its population may also decrease by 3.9% from 3,115 in 2020 to approximately 2,994 residents by 2045.

It should be noted that all population projections rely on assumptions and do not anticipate unforeseen circumstances such as a major economic recession, the gain or loss of a major employer, or delayed retirement of baby boomers.

Imlay Township’s population overtime has increased since 1980, but in the last 20 years has decreased. It is anticipated if the Township remains on the current path it will continue to lose population. The Township has a slightly younger demographic than other surrounding communities with almost a quarter of the population under 19, and a slightly lower demographic that is 65 years or older (18%). About 16% of the population is Hispanic which is unique to the rest of Lapeer County.

Imlay Township has a larger number of persons per household at 2.75. Majority (72.7%) of households are married couples with only 13% who are living alone which is significantly lower than all other surrounding communities. The population is well educated with wide majority (91%) have a high school diploma and 15% have a Bachelor degree or higher.

The Township median household income is $88,672 which is higher than surrounding Townships, County, and
State of Michigan. It is forecasted the household income will continue to remain high. The sources of this income come primary (82%) from current employment earnings. Majority of the population would appear to still be working in some capacity.

The next highest income sources are social security (35.7%), 26% retirement income, and interest, dividends, or net rental income (20.2%). The sources of income are consistent with the age breakdown.
Imlay Township is primarily a bedroom community with residents living in the Township and working outside of the community, on average over 30 minutes away. Both for population forecasting and farming statistics, data is only available at the county level.

The Master Plan report concluded, “It is anticipated the overall population of Lapeer County will decrease especially those who are 20 -34 years old, but will increase the number of those who are 75+. If this trend holds true, it would more dramatically shift the current demographic in Imlay Township.”

The public is welcome to attend planning meetings. Contact the Twp office for further information.