In 2005, 48 jurisdictions in central Michigan adopted a regional growth plan that encouraged cooperation, such as joint planning and shared services, including policing, fire protection, and tax assessments, to maximize revenue and ensure the sustainability of public services. As part of these efforts, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission developed a regional urban and rural policy to coordinate the management of public services, such as shared utility agreements involving public water and sewer infrastructure between urban and rural areas.
The Ingham County Health Department conducted an HIA to assess the potential health effects of the services management policy in four areas: expansion of public water and sewer infrastructure, maintaining water resources and quality, preserving agriculture and open space, and encouraging policy development and implementation with a regional vision to save money through coordination. The HIA found that additional property taxes to support the expansion of water and sewer infrastructure could hurt household budgets at the expense of health care affordability and that communities with both urban and rural land uses may face challenges prioritizing among greenfield development or infill, preservation of open space, and new subdivisions.
This work was part of a Health Impact Project HIA program grant to the Ingham County Health Department.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.