Township opposes ending road commission

FLINT TWP. — The Board of Trustees has added its support to those municipalities in favor of keeping the Genesee County Road Commission intact.

In its unanimous approval of a resolution, the board opposed proposed legislation to empower the Genesee County Board of Commissioners to take over the duties of the road commission.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller explained that proposed House Bills 5125-5126 are a state-level effort to consolidate services by making the road commission a county-run department.

“I think should that happen we would see less service given to each county for township roads,’’ Miller said, in urging the board to pass the resolution supporting the position of the County Road Association of Michigan (CRAM).

The township’s resolution opposed the proposed bills, as stated, and supported CRAM’s suggested amendments to “add transparency and ensure due diligence in creating a process to eliminate road commissions, require public input and require a countywide vote of the electorate if the road commission were to become a department of the county government.”

CRAM also has suggested language that would allow a county the choice to create an independent road agency if it is deemed to be the best service and cost to taxpayers. Without the amendment to the wording to protect public interests, placing the road commission under general county authority “could substantially increase cost to the taxpayers and result in decreased services,” according to the resolution.

The township board passed the resolution with very little discussion.

Trustee George Menoutes called the takeover effort “a nightmare” and requested that a copy of the township’s opposing resolution be sent to every member of the county planning commission.

The resolution also stated that copies would be sent to Governor Rick Snyder, State Representative John Gleason, State Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan Townships Association and CRAM.

In addition to elaborating on road commission initiatives and reforms, the resolution noted the significance of Michigan’s 90,000- plus miles of road and 5,700 bridges that is the fourth largest local road system in the nation, serving as the backbone of the state’s economy and transport of $800 million annually of good and services.

The Genesee County Road Commission currently maintains more than 1,813 miles of roads and streets and over 250 signalized intersections, according to information on its web site.

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