Unused snowplow funds going to road improvements

FLINT TWP. — Several township streets will benefit from the lack of significant snowfall last winter.

For the past three years the township has been part of a pilot program headed by the Genesee County Road Commission that calls for hiring a private contractor to plow township roads after snowfalls of five inches or more. This arrangement gets roads back open sooner than road commission crews can get to them.

The contract covers five heavy snow events per year at a cost of $11,000 each, said Township Supervisor Karyn Miller. The township puts up half the money and the rest is covered by the road commission.

Last winter, only one plowing was required which left about $44,000 unspent, Miller said.

The contract allows for those unspent funds to be used on other road improvements projects.

Miller presented to the township board a list of projects she said were unanimously recommended by the township’s road advisory committee.

Proposed work includes tearing out and replacing the curb line on Heatherwoode Ct. at an estimated cost of $12,000. It would be done in conjunction with milling and paving being done on the street by the road commission.

About $8,000 will be spent to clear out ditching on Ramsgate Road.

The remaining $24,000 is earmarked for improvements on Pickwick Place and Sunderland Place, two projects on Dye Meadow and work on Linden Road south of Miller in front of Long John Silver restaurant, Miller said.

Also a request has been made to fill in the curb cuts on Corunna Road where the township’s parks and recreation committee’s beautification plantings were installed last year. The scope of work depends on how far the leftover snowplowing funds can be stretched, MIller said.

The board voted 5-2 to use the unspent snowplowing funds on the rec- ommended improvements. Trustees Belenda Parker and Barb Vert voted no.

As expected, trustee George Menoutes requested an update on plans for repaving Calkins Road, which he has championed for several years running.

Miller reminded him that repaving Calkins is slated for 2014–2016 according to a road improvement plan the board has already approved. The Calkins project is divided into three years and three sections because each one costs about $166,000, MIller said.

In 2014, road crews will repave Calkins between Beecher and Linden roads; In 2015, the section between Linden and Dye will be done and in the third year the section between Dye and Elms.

Trustee Frank Kasle asked about plans to continue the snowplowing project now that the pilot program has ended.

MIller said that is the road advisory committee needs to draft a request and meet with road commissioner director John Daly to discuss a continuation plan.

“This was a pilot program,” she said of the 2010-12 agreement. “If we continue to do something like that the road commission is going to have to bid it out.” The process could change but Miller said she thinks it would benefit township residents to continue a supplemental snowplowing program.

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