County Tells Governor: Help Fund Road Repair

At its Feb. 5, 2014 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners passed a resolution urging Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to allocate part of the state’s estimated $1 billion budget surplus to road repair.

The resolution’s one resolved clause states:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, such funds from state surplus should be used in part for roadway maintenance using the fair formula allocation as prescribed by Public Act 51 of 1951 to ensure Washtenaw County benefits fairly from surplus use. [.pdf of resolution]

At the board’s Jan. 22, 2014 meeting, Alicia Ping (R-District 3) had indicated the likelihood of this resolution coming to the board. She reported that a subcommittee that’s exploring the future of the Washtenaw County road commission had met prior to the county board meeting on Jan. 22. The subcommittee, which Ping chairs, had voted to ask the county board to pass a resolution urging Gov. Rick Snyder to allocate the state’s budget surplus for road repair, distributed to local entities using the current state formula for road allocations.

The resolution states that the Washtenaw County road commission maintains about 1,654 miles of roads, including 770 miles of gravel roads. It also is responsible for 111 bridges and more than 2,000 culverts, and is contracted by the Michigan Dept. of Transportation to maintain about 580 lane miles of state trunkline roads. Road commissioners have indicated that there are several million dollars worth of needed repairs that are unfunded.

In a statement issued earlier in the day on Feb. 5, Snyder released some details for a fiscal 2015 budget proposal, including $254 million “to match federal aid and maintain Michigan’s roads and bridges, transit services and aeronautics projects across the state.”

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]