• Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor
    201 S. Division Street
    Suite 400
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    T 734-761-3780
  • Cheboygan
    Cheboygan
    229 Court Street
    P.O. Box 405
    Cheboygan, MI 49721
    T 231-627-8000
  • Detroit
    Detroit
    1901 St. Antoine Street
    6th Floor at Ford Field
    Detroit, MI 48226
    T 313-259-7777
  • Grand Rapids
    Grand Rapids
    250 Monroe Avenue NW
    Suite 400
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    T 616-205-4330
  • Troy
    Troy
    201 W. Big Beaver Road
    Suite 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    T 248-743-6000
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competitive drive
 

Municipal Law and Finance

Meet at the Center
Overview

Bodman has provided cutting edge services to Michigan communities for more than 70 years as general counsel, bond counsel or special counsel in workplace, environmental, litigation and other issues.

We specialize in getting municipalities to work with each other and with the private sector for the benefit of all: creating jobs, developing new industries, revitalizing once-forgotten neighborhoods, encouraging investment – helping governmental clients deliver on their responsibilities to their citizens.

Our experienced municipal law and public finance specialists understand not only the necessities of economic development, but also the intricacies of combining public and private interests that encourage development, investment and opportunity. Our success stories drive this point home. 

 

Services

Representative services provided to Municipal Law and Finance clients include:

  • Drafting charter, statutory and ordinance language
  • Negotiating and structuring intergovernmental agreements
  • Negotiating agreements with cable television and Internet service providers
  • Counsel regarding joint law enforcement activities
  • Drafting zoning and land use regulations
  • Prosecuting condemnation actions
  • Litigating at the trial and appellate levels
  • Acting as bond or note counsel in a variety of financings
  • Appearing before legislative and administrative bodies to obtain zoning changes, site plan approvals, special use permits and variances on behalf of private citizens and entities 

 

Representative Matters

Representative matters in Municipal Law and Public Finance include the following:

Development

  • Private Developer, Sponsors, and the City to Establish a 500-Acre For-Profit Agriculture Enterprise
    A Bodman team negotiated all aspects of an innovative project involving a private developer, sponsoring partners, and the City of Detroit to establish a for-profit agricultural enterprise on 500 acres of formerly derelict land. The complex project, which will restructure an entire city neighborhood, included complicated title challenges, environmental concerns, and zoning, tax, and municipal law issues.
  • Building of Two Major League Sports Stadiums in Downtown Detroit Start the Revitalization of the City
    Bodman attorneys led negotiations on a $700 million deal among the City of Detroit, Wayne County, the Detroit Lions, and the Detroit Tigers which resulted in two new state of the art sports stadiums and the revitalization of an entire section of downtown Detroit.

Government Services

  • Communities Create a Bond Structure to Finance a $300 Million Sewer Project
    We have also been at the forefront of creative financing, assisting 14 Wayne County communities in developing a unique bond structure to finance a $300 million sewer project.
  • County Establishes First Land Bank Program in the State to Encourage Long-Term Redevelopment and Revitalization
    We assisted a governmental client in establishing the first land bank in the State of Michigan. That model has since been used by counties throughout the state, allowing county treasurers to take title to property and save it for reinvestment in economic development projects rather than have it sold to bargain hunters and slumlords.
  • Counties Create a $300+ Million Sewer Interceptor Project and Authority to Own and Operate It
    We worked with two suburban counties to negotiate an inter-governmental agreement allowing the purchase and improvement of a sewer interceptor project valued at more than $300 million. We then established two governmental authorities to own and operate the interceptor systems and have represented the authorities in financings exceeding $150 million.
  • City Government Consolidates Public Safety Services, Shares Services with Other Communities
    We counseled the city government on a variety of consolidation of service issues, including consolidation of public safety services and sharing of services with other communities.
  • Counties Encounter Issues with Technology Agreements
    Several counties have used us to negotiate and help resolve disputes over technology contracts.
  • Townships Work to Create of Wastewater Treatment Authorities

    We have worked with several townships to create wastewater treatment authorities and to negotiate agreements for wastewater treatment.

  • Drafting of Legislation for Downtown Development Authorities (DDA)
    We drafted the legislation required for creating, altering and renewing downtown development authorities.
  • Municipalities Preserve Farmland via Millages and the Federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program
    We have worked with local municipalities to preserve hundreds of acres of farmland and open space using funds from local purchase of development rights millages in combination with funds available under the Federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program.

Labor and Employment

  • Township Prevails in Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit Filed by Former Employee
    We defended a township government in a lawsuit brought by a former employee against the township and the township’s manager and supervisor alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. We obtained dismissal of the former employee’s claims for damages. The court also granted our motion finding no individual liability against the former township supervisor and manager because there was no evidence that they acted outside the scope of their positions.
  • Municipality Wins Arbitration Appeal to Police Union's Constitutional Challenge to Reduction in Cost of Living Adjustment
    A municipality won an arbitration proceeding which resulted in a reduction of pension COLA for police department employees. Unhappy with the outcome, the union challenged the award in federal court. Bodman defended the federal lawsuit, responding to constitutional challenges raised by the union. We successfully filed a motion to dismiss, raising innovative, precedent-setting defenses, including an issue of first impression, all adopted by the federal judge.

Litigation

  • Creation of Landmark Municipal Zoning Law Decisions at the Michigan Supreme Court Level
    We have successfully argued before the Michigan Supreme Court, creating landmark law on municipal zoning.
  • County Prevails in Lawsuit Filed by County Sheriff, Who Alleges Underfunding of County Jail
    We represented a county government against a lawsuit filed by the county sheriff asserting that the county government had underfunded the county jail in violation of a longstanding consent order. After an extensive evidentiary hearing that was held over a period of months, the court ruled in favor of our client.
  • County Settles Lawsuit Filed by County Prosecutor, Who Alleges Underfunding After Budget Cuts Announced
    We also successful represented the county in a lawsuit by the county’s prosecutor alleging underfunding. The case was settled on terms that require the prosecutor to stay within budget and increase the efficiency of the department’s operations.
  • Michigan Supreme Court Finds for Township, Reverses Court of Appeals in Land Use Case
    We obtained the reversal of a Michigan Court of Appeals decision in a unanimous opinion by the Michigan Supreme Court upholding a township’s land use determination in the face of a civil rights challenge. 
  • Counties Win Zoning Appeal Before Michigan Supreme Court
    A case we litigated to the Michigan Supreme Court established the proposition that counties are not subject to local zoning regulations in the siting of county facilities.

Public Finance

Bodman has served as bond, note, or underwriter’s counsel on the following recent issues:

  • State of Michigan
    $107,800,000, Michigan Finance Authority, State Aid Revenue Notes, Series 2014E (School District of the City of Detroit)

    $80,000,000 Michigan Finance Authority Local Government Loan Program Revenue Bonds, Series 2012A (City of Detroit Limited Tax General Obligation Local Project Bonds Third Lien)

    $129,520,000 Michigan Finance Authority Local Government Loan Program Revenue Bonds, Series 2012C (City of Detroit Limited Tax General Obligation Local Project Bonds Third Lien)

    $8,565,000 Michigan Finance Authority, Macomb County Wastewater Disposal District Revenue Bonds, Series 2012

    $225,860,000 Michigan Finance Authority, Clean Water Revolving Fund Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2011

    $56,860,000 Michigan Finance Authority, Drinking Water Revolving Fund Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2011

    $231,000,000 Michigan Finance Authority State Aid Revenue Notes, Series 2011A-1 (School District of the City of Detroit) and Series 2011A-2 (School District of the City of Detroit)

    $648,235,000 Michigan State Building Authority 2011 Revenue and Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series I-A (Facilities Program), 2011 Federally Taxable Revenue Bonds, Series I-B (Facilities Program), 2011 Revenue and Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series II-A (Facilities Program) and 2011 Variable Rate Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series II-B (Facilities Program)

  • Macomb County, Michigan
      • Harper Woods, MI
        $3,410,000 City of Harper Woods Sanitary Sewer System Revenue Bonds, Series 2012
      • Oakland-Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District, Michigan
        $8,490,000 Oakland-Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District Drain Bonds, Series 2015A (SAW Loan) (General Obligation Limited Tax)

        $65,140,000 Oakland-Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District Drain Bonds (Series 2013A) (Limited Tax General Obligation) 
  • Mason County, Michigan
    $10,000,000 Mason County Hospital Finance Authority Hospital Revenue Bonds (Memorial Medical Center of West Michigan), Series 2012A and  $8,505,000 Mason County Hospital Finance Authority Hospital Revenue Bonds (Memorial Medical Center of West Michigan), Series 2012B
  • Wayne County, Michigan
      • Allen Park, Michigan
        $15,195,000 City of Allen Park General Obligation Limited Tax Bonds (City of Allen Park), Series 2015A (Taxable) and $1,555,000 City of Allen Park General Obligation Limited Tax Bonds (City of Allen Park), Series 2015B (Taxable)
      • Detroit, Michigan
        $659,780,000 City of Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Sewage Disposal System Revenue and Revenue Refunding Senior Lien Bonds, Series 2012A

        $379,590,000 City of Detroit, Michigan Water Supply System Revenue Senior Lien Bonds, Series 2011-A; $17,195,000; City of Detroit, Michigan Water Supply System Revenue Senior Lien Bonds, Series 2011-B; and $103,890,000 Water Supply System Revenue Refunding Senior Lien Bonds, Series 2011-C

        $6,000,000 School District of the City of Detroit, County of Wayne, State of Michigan State Aid Note, Series 2012-A (Limited Tax General Obligation) (Federally Taxable)

Zoning, and Land Use

  • Creation of Landmark Municipal Zoning Law Decisions at the Michigan Supreme Court Level
    We have successfully argued before the Michigan Supreme Court, creating landmark law on municipal zoning.
  • Michigan Supreme Court Finds for Township, Reverses Court of Appeals in Land Use Case
    We obtained the reversal of a Michigan Court of Appeals decision in a unanimous opinion by the Michigan Supreme Court upholding a township’s land use determination in the face of a civil rights challenge. 
  • Counties Win Zoning Appeal Before Michigan Supreme Court
    A case we litigated to the Michigan Supreme Court established the proposition that counties are not subject to local zoning regulations in the siting of county facilities.