Local road proposals on May 5 ballot


EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Money for roads. It’s probably the biggest issue residents in Michigan will be voting on when they head to the polls next week.

There’s been a lot of discussion about Proposal 1 but several local communities have millage requests on the ballot as well.

The City of East Grand Rapids has 47 miles of streets and 80 miles of sidewalks to repair and maintain, but to do that city officials estimate they’ll need $1.2 million a year.

Mayor Amna Seibold says the time to act is now.

“The longer we wait, the worst the roads become and the more expensive it is to make those repairs,” said Mayor Seibold.

But local voters should note that the city of East Grand Rapids has tied its millage request to the state’s proposal for road funding.

The city’s request is for 2.0 mills over 10 years, but if the state proposal passes, the city will collect 1.23 mill from local residents.

For example, if the state proposal passes the owner of a $300,000 home in East Grand Rapids will pay an extra $184 dollars a year. But if the state proposal fails and the local millage passes they’ll pay $300 dollars a year.

“The money that is approved here in this millage will stay local,” said Seibold. “We don’t have to worry about it being distributed to other areas. It will be absolutely be dedicated to our streets and our sidewalks here in East Grand Rapids.”

Several rural communities are seeking road funding from voters as well.

Dorr Township has a 3-mill, 6-year proposal on the ballot. It is hoping to generate $650,000 a year.

The money would go towards resurfacing crumbling subdivisions and paving the 46 miles of dirt and gravel roads that still line the community.

“And then we also have to replace culverts and do other things, road side cuttings of the weeds and dust control,” said Dorr Township supervisor Jeff Miling.

If it passes, the owner of a $72,000 home in Dorr Township will pay an extra $200 a year. Again, local is key.

“This road millage — 100% of it — is going to go towards our township, for our township roads, and the bettering of our community,” said Miling.

Other communities seeking road funding:

  • Salem Township Road Millage Renewal (Allegan Co.) — $5 million increase for 5 years for road improvements; $729,203 in first year.
  • Albion Street Millage Renewal (Calhoun Co.) — Renew existing $3 million streets tax for 5 years for city streets; $282,000 in first year
  • Evergreen Township Road Improvement Millage (Montcalm Co.) — $1.25 million for 3 years for road work in the township; $78,750 in 2015
  • Hamilton Township Road Millage Renewal (Van Buren Co.) — Renew $1 million levy for 3 years for roads in the township; $50,773 in 2015

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