MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Spring and summer in Michigan are often thought of as "Pothole Season" or "Orange Barrel Season". While it's no secret that roads throughout the stat are in bad condition, the issue almost always circles back to lack of funding.
According to the Meridian Township press release, all roads in the Township are the responsibility of the Ingham County Road Department. Due to funding restrictions for local streets, Meridian Township provides funding for a majority of repaving work that occurs on neighborhood streets. In 2018, out of 147 miles of local streets, 3 miles of streets were able to be repaved.
Street funding was the main topic of discussion at the Meridian Township Board Special Meeting on April 16. Township Assistant Manager and Director of Public Works Derek Perry lead the presentation providing costs to repair and maintain Township local streets, the current state of local streets and options to consider moving forward to preserve, maintain and repave streets on an annual basis.
One of the Township's 2019 Goals is to develop and implement a strategic plan to increase annual funding for local streets in conjunction with the Township Transportation Commission. The Transportation Commission recently reviewed and discussed the existing local street pavement program and its associated funding in September and October of 2018. Based on their review, they recommended that the Township Board pursue a consistent and level source of funding that would bring all 147 miles of local streets within the Township to a “good” rating (PASER 8). They also recommended that the funding source provide enough ongoing financial support to maintain the entire road network at that rating every year.
According to Perry, in order to reach a condition rating of “8” on all of the local streets in Meridian, it would require a funding level of $3.5 million annually over a ten (10) year
period. As a point of reference, the system average PASER rating is a 4.48. With the current dedicated local street millage of 0.2479 generating only $425,400 per year, the funding source is not adequate to rehabilitate and maintain the existing pavement in the neighborhoods.
The current Township street millage expires in December 2023. Voters may be asked to vote on a millage renewal increase or bonding proposal on August 6, 2019.
The Board did not take action on any proposal yet, the meeting was more of a way to gather information from a variety of sources. This item will be up for discussion at the Tuesday, April 23rd Township Board Meeting.
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