The Village of Lawton is seeking an experienced professional to continue the growth of our community. The town has made considerable progress in a number of areas including community involvement, economic development, job creation, housing, downtown development, and infrastructure modernization.
The next Village Manager will have the opportunity to enhance and extend the as the community continues to grow and prosper. The successful candidate will likely possess at least several years’ experience in municipal government administration, including having played an active role in financial administration, economic development, infrastructure expansion and construction project management.
Lawton currently stands on the cusp of significant job growth. This growth will provide opportunities for expanded housing, will help feed local businesses, and should increase usage of municipal services. Lawton is striving to become a Certified Redevelopment Ready Community and is actively focused on transparency, communications, community involvement, and a host of other progressive initiatives.
Being blessed with an excellent K-12 school system, the employment growth and improvements to housing opportunities we anticipate will help attract young families as well as empty-nesters and seniors.
Lawton is in the process several significant initiatives and projects, including:
- The adoption of a new Master Plan in September 2023 has brought us to a review of the Zoning Ordinance with completion by January. This will bring Lawton to the Certified RRC status with MEDC and open several financial opportunities for expanded growth and planning.
- Lawton has partnered with MDOT to maximize the 2024 reconstruction of M-40 through the Village to include the replacement of water; sanitary sewer and of storm water utilities. Along with this, the entire downtown streetscape will be rebuilt, and sidewalk will be extended north from downtown to the Dollar General store. This project is a total cost of $XX, with the village financing its portion of $XX with cash.
- To augment this once-in-a-generation street project, Lawton was awarded an $850,000 Revitalizing and Placemaking (RAP) grant to build a new downtown center dubbed “Reid’s Corner” that will be a versatile public gathering space and include a Farmers Market, outdoor concert / movie venue, social zone, and picnic area with plenty of open-air space for additional activities.
- The Village is also preparing plans to extend water and sanitary utilities a quarter mile to the north side of the village thanks to a $1 million State of Michigan contribution. This to accommodate 2 new business endeavors with eventual plans to extend the utilities through the north side of the community to open the area for housing development. • After the successful installation of a splash pad in 2020, Lawton is currently working to further improve its main park, Chancy Lewis Park, by renovating the bathrooms, park furniture and basketball courts and converting an old tennis court into pickleball courts thanks to an MDNR Passport Grant. A Grand Re-opening should occur early Summer ’24.
- The business climate is also attractive in Lawton. Welch’s is a long-term corporate citizen, and just invested $25,000,000 to extend their manufacturing processes in Lawton.
- In addition to Welches, several major industrial redevelopment projects are currently in the works, anticipated to bring significant growth to the local community, including 150 – 200 well-paying jobs. The recent renovation of the Blueberry Hill Senior Care facility as well as the White Oak Randall Residence offer over 120 beds in Senior Assisted Living.
- Over the past several years, Village Council has prioritized substantial efforts aimed at blight reduction, resulting in opportunities for residential infill, housing rehab opportunities, and improved quality of life.
The Lawton Village Manager will oversee an annual budget of $7.3 million and a team of 15 full-time staff. The Manager will report to a seven-member Village Council elected with staggered terms. The President is directly elected by the residents. The Village Council is interested in meeting candidates who will build meaningful regional relationships, understand municipal finances and be visible in and around the community.
Lawton is located halfway between Detroit and Chicago and 4 miles south of I-94. Lawton is located in the heart of the fruit belt, surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and orchards, as well as numerous lakes and streams and a quick drive to the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. With the Kalamazoo/Portage metro area just twenty minutes away, Lawton provides a lower cost of living while being close to several colleges, a major university, and numerous cultural attractions.
The Village offers a competitive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, short term, long term and life insurance as well as a retirement plan, vacation and sick time. Salary ranges from $75,000 to $82,000 DOQ.
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by Friday, October 20, but position will remain open until filled. To apply, please email a resume, cover letter and three professional references to:
Clerk@LawtonMI.org – Subject: Village of Lawton Manager Search
OR mail to: Village of Lawton Manager Search; 125 S Main Street PO Box 367, Lawton MI 49065, ATTN: Village Clerk
Confidentiality must be requested but cannot be provided for those selected as final candidates. The Village of Lawton is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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