Board OKs 2015 road projects

FLINT TWP. — With more roads needing repair than allocated dollars to fix them, the township board voted five to one to use money from its general fund to help pay for 2015 road projects.

Trustee Barb Vert was absent. Trustee Belenda Parker cast the sole no vote.

“My concern is taking $111,000 from the general fund,’’ Parker said. “If there is money in the general fund to take out, not budgeted for, that is not good.”

She was referring to an estimated $111,870 needed to complete the second phase of a threeyear repaving project on Calkins Road. The Genesee County Road Commission would provide about $54,130 matching funds for the project.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller explained that general fund dollars are needed because other projects will use up all road millage funds and Community Development Block Grant Funds allocated for road improvements.

“If we don’t fix the roads, they will fall apart and we will be driving on gravel,’’ she said, adding that the board has the privilege to decide if it wants to use general fund dollars for road repairs, which has been done in the past.

“We have to have an aggressive road repair plan,’’ she said.

She presented a plan for the 2015 road construction season that was unanimously rec- ommended by the township’s Road Advisory Committee.

It earmarks most CDBG funding, a $98,000 grant, to badly needed repairs on River Forest Drive. About $40,000 in CDBG funds is set aside each year for ditching projects, with this year’s funding allocated for Tuxedo Avenue and Camp Street.

Miller said ongoing ditching is needed to prevent road deterioration from poor drainage but the allocated ditching funds may be redirected to help pay the township’s estimated $53,130 share of costs for a repaving project on Healthsource Parkway, also previously approved. Adjacent businesses, HealthPlus and the Patsy Lou Williamson dealership, have agreed to each pay about 20 percent of the cost with the road commission picking up about 27 percent.

Proposed spending of $203,936 in available Road Millage Funds would be about $112,000 designated for streets in the Mandeville Subdivision and about $80,000 for projects on Townview Drive and Lask Street. The Mandeville project was approved last year, but delayed.

Miller mentioned other roads including Court and Graham, Austins Parkway and Exchange and Commerce Drives that are in need of attention but can’t be addressed due to lack of funding. The township would need $1 million to pay for needed road work, she said.

“We are never going to get ahead of the game if we don’t take a more aggressive approach,’’ she said.

Trustee George Menoutes agreed.

“Everyone realizes we have a problem with roads,’’ he said. “We have $3.5 million (fund balance) in the kitty drawing little interest. The longer we wait and do nothing, the roads will get worse and cost us more.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *