MITA Responds to Misuse of Road Funding Dollars
Earlier this year, the Isabella County Road Commission (ICRC) presented a proposal to the full county commission to build a new $10 million building to replace their current structure. The proposal is for a 30-year bond that would end up costing approximately $540,000 annually for 30 years. When asked by the county commission on how the bond would be paid for, the response was to use the new road funding money that was passed in 2015. The fear that many lawmakers had when voting on the $1.2 billion road-funding package was becoming a reality.
It is obvious as Michigan goes through one of the worst pothole seasons in recent memory that greater investment is needed into the actual pavement of our roads. When passing the 2015 package on roads, lawmakers were very skeptical of infusing a lot of money into local road agencies that have no oversight from the state on how they spend that money. Many had concerns that the money would be spent on new buildings, new equipment or pension liabilities.
This is not a debate on whether or not the ICRC needs a new facility or whether or not other local road agencies need upgrades in their equipment or their facilities. It is about being transparent with the money that is available. The public has been and continues to scream for better roads and bridges in our state and that pressure was one of the factors that made the road funding package successful. Now that the money is starting to come in, and will be completely available by 2021, road agencies need to start showing significant improvements in our infrastructure.
Please take some time and read the attached letter to the editor from MITA Executive Vice President Mike Nystrom regarding the ICRC plan for a new building. As these issues come up in the future in other areas of the state, like issues that are now arising out of Jackson County, MITA will continue to respond as the funding watchdogs. Michigan is in desperate need of major repairs throughout the state, and the MITA focus will be to make improvements as fast as possible.
Click here for the Letter to the Editor written by Mike Nystrom.
House Passes an Extra $175 Million for Roads in 2018 Construction Season
This week, the House of Representatives passed an extra $175 million for roads with extra money that the state has in the current year’s budget. Governor Snyder in his budget recommendation suggested to increase the 2019 budget by $175 million for roads and bridges and the legislature did one better and recommended to put that extra money into this construction season. The extra money will be distributed to the main three areas; MDOT, counties and locals, which could be some much needed assistance to repair potholes. It is anticipated that the Senate will take action next week on the measure.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at email@example.com or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They both can be reached at 517-347-8336.