Road Commission proposing new township cost share policy

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

With more funding from the State of Michigan, Antrim County's 15 townships will see a large increase in funding for much needed road work starting in 2019. To allocate those funds, the Antrim County Road Commission has proposed a new cost sharing policy that the agency is now asking townships to review and comment on. 

 

MANCELONA – For years, in the face of declining funds from registrations and gas taxes, the Antrim County Road Commission has struggled to balance some type of financial assistance to the county's 15 townships for road repairs while reserving funds for the agency's biggest priority – winter road maintenance.

As a result, with less assistance from the Road Commission, local roadways in the county's less affluent townships have suffered, along with many of the county roads the agency is solely responsible for maintaining.

But an increase in state funding, set to begin in 2019, and a new cost share policy that the agency is now asking Antrim's individual townships to review, may change that.

Currently, townships are asked to pay 90 percent of all costs for road repairs, while the road commission pays the remaining 10 percent of construction costs.

"Which means that in some townships, where real estate value is lower – meaning less income from road millages – it's hard to come up with enough money to take care of all the township's local roads," said Antrim County Road Commission Burt Thompson. "Most of those townships can only afford to take a stab at the really bad roads and have been forced to let the rest go."

The distribution policy currently being proposed, copied from a state formula, would be based on the population in the township as well as the proportion of local county roads in the township, Thompson said.

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