County Board Appoints Road Funding Committee

Washtenaw County commissioners have approved appointments to a new committee that’s charged with exploring funding options for road repair. The appointments were made at the board’s July 9, 2014 meeting.

The board had created the road funding committee on June 4, 2014, after debating whether to levy a countywide road millage or put a millage proposal on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot to fund road repair. The final vote to create the committee had been 6-1 vote, over dissent from Conan Smith (D-District 9). Commissioners Yousef Rabhi (D-District 8) and Dan Smith (R-District 2) were absent.

In arguing against levying a tax at that time, some commissioners cited the need to study funding options – including a possible Act 283 levy, which doesn’t require voter approval – before making a decision.

Members appointed are:

  • Lew Kidder, representing the general public
  • Bill McFarlane, representing the road commission
  • Roy Townsend, managing director of the road commission
  • Rolland Sizemore Jr., the county board of commissioners’ liaison to the road commission
  • Dan Smith, county commissioner
  • Kent Martinez-Kratz, county commissioner
  • Rodrick Green, Superior Township trustee, representing townships
  • Steve Powers, Ann Arbor city administrator, representing incorporated municipalities
  • Ryan Buck, director of the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS)

The resolution directs the committee to meet within 60 days of this appointment to elect officers and draft bylaws. The committee is to report to the county board at its Sept. 17, 2014 meeting, and make quarterly updates after that with a final report due in December 2015.

The county administrator will help provide administrative support to the committee.

For additional Chronicle coverage on road-related issues, see: “County Board Continues Weighing Road Tax,” “County Board Debates Expanded Road Commission,” “County Board Sets Hearing on Road Tax,” “County Considers Road Funding Options,” “No Major Change Likely for Road Commission” and “Group Explores Road Commission’s Future.”

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