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Government and Municipal


Whether you're negotiating contracts, handling property tax appeals or just trying to do more with less, our depth of experience in the public sector means that when you call us with a question, we can get you an answer when you need it.

For more information, please contact either your Varnum attorney, or Randy Kraker at 616/336-6510 or


We have represented hundreds of municipalities as special counsel handling complex and specialized aspects of municipal law. Such matters involve:

  • Environmental disputes
  • Labor matters
  • Public finance
  • Zoning and planning
  • Cable TV, WiFi, gas, electric and fiber optic franchises
  • Interlocal agreements for the provision of fire protection, water and sewer services and other municipal services
  • Property tax appeals
  • Eminent domain
  • Boundary adjustments through annexations, Act 425 agreements or other means
  • Licensing and closure of solid waste landfills
  • Sale and licensing of hydroelectric facilities
  • Recalls, referendum, initiative and local elections
  • Redevelopment

Municipalities throughout the state and beyond regularly seek our advice as special counsel. Varnum has represented municipalities in establishing sanitary sewer and water supply systems, as well as extensions and additions to such systems. As part of such representation, we have prepared the necessary resolutions and ordinances to establish the system and the rate structure to support the system. We have been involved in periodic reviews of such rates to determine that they support necessary operating and other expenses, and to ensure compliance with any financing covenants.

We represent municipal suppliers of utility services and municipal customer communities on both a wholesale and retail basis. We have served as bond counsel in the issuance of revenue bonds to finance such projects.

The firm also represents or has represented municipal utilities all across the United States on matters involving retail rates, extra-territorial sales, long-term retail power sales contracts, interconnection agreements, hydroelectric licensing, nuclear power plants, fossil power plants, franchises, labor matters, antitrust, environmental problems and other issues.

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