County to help fund township street repairs
Wayne County Commissioner Shannon Price discussing roads at Plymouth Township Board of Trustees Meeting
Feb. 11, 2015 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Nine areas in Plymouth Township may be eligible for a little help from Wayne County in repairing the road in their neighborhoods.
The township is eligible for about $750,000 of county funding to be used for local road improvements, according to an announcement from Wayne County officials. In Canton Township, the county will spend $1.5 million in the first round of improvements to local roads.
The grant money is part of the Wayne County Local Roads Initiative program, a $14 million program which includes all nine townships within the county boarders. Counties are responsible for road repair within their boundaries and do not receive state gas tax revenue to pay for road improvements. In Plymouth, several com- munities have expressed an interest in creating a special assessment district, or SAD, a tax mechanism that allows property owners to pay for road improvements over time with a dedicated amount added to their property tax bills. The program is administered by the township which usually borrows the funds to pay for the improvements and then bills the property owners a portion of the amount based on the cost and amount of roadway on respective properties. The township usually charges an administrative fee for the service and interest on the loan. To form a SAD, a majority of the homeowners in the area must agree to pay the costs and the plan must be approved by township officials.
In Canton, 20 neighborhoods groups requested funding for street repairs under the program. Township officials requested that homeowner associations submit their requests, including the cost of the improvements, for a lottery-type drawing. Supervisor Phil LaJoy drew 13 applicants during the lottery, using the entire amount allocated to Canton.
Amounts of aid in each of the townships was determined by population data in both Plymouth and Canton Township and was announced as a two-year program.
Plymouth Township officials discussed the use of the grant money during a regular meeting and said that the five neighborhoods with paved roads in poor condition and four acres where roads are grave-covered would receive first consideration. Possible areas would be Plymouth Colony, Plymouth Gardens, Eastlawn and Finch subdivisions and the Woodlore, Deer Creek, Plymouth Commons and Ridgewood Hills West subdivision and Litchfield Road .
In Canton, the areas expected to see use of the funds are: Forest Brook, Meadowbrook, Century Farms, Oakvale/Stonegate, Fairways West, Willow Homes, Nowland Estates, Canton Country Acres, Huntington Place No. 1, River Woods, Salem Manor, Royal Pointe and Glengarry I.
To utilize the grant funding, the areas would need to form a SAD, and property owners would likely pay the majority of the costs. The fewer such districts formed, the larger the amount of county money would be available for others, according to Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume, who said it was unlikely that homeowners in all nine areas would be willing to take on the cost of the road repairs through a SAD.
The grant program was announced as a two-year effort and township officials said they are hoping there will be additional funding available for street repairs next year.