FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Christina Strong
Road millages see resounding victories in August 2 Primary Election
Lansing, MI – More than 80 percent of 83 road millages on the August 2016 primary election ballot were met with a “yes vote” from Michigan residents, according to the County Road Association of Michigan.
“This is a vote of confidence in local road agencies,” said Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association of Michigan. “The anticipated $1.2 billion dollar legislative road funding is a great start, but local dollars are still needed to match other dollars and fill in funding gaps to maintain and improve local and primary roads.”
Among the millages passed across the state, the rate of approval was very high.
In Chandler Township in Huron County, a two-mill renewal will generate $326,313 for road improvements from 2017 to 2024. In Baraga County, a renewal county road millage proposal was approved with 776 (66 percent) “yes votes.” Bentley Township in Gladwin County will receive two new mills for 6 years.
The data shows that when Michigan residents have the opportunity to vote to support the work done by their county road agencies in a road millage, voters strongly support the work to maintain Michigan’s roads.
“When residents can see the return their dollars are making on their local roads, they usually vote ‘yes’ in favor of funding,” Donohue said. “A new millage may take a couple of tries to approve; but as in the 2016 primary – and the 2014 primary approval is 80 to 90 percent.
This record of voter confidence has been seen before. In 2014, 100 percent of the counties with county-wide millages renewed them. In addition, 92 percent of the known 151 county-wide, township, cities and village millages passed or renewed.
County and township roads are maintained by county road commissions that are funded primarily by state funds, local support, occasional grants and federal funds on qualifying main connecting roads. Road millages passed in townships provide matching funds for local road projects, or pay “full freight” for specific road needs named in the millage.
Most local millages were put on the ballot to fund road repair and maintenance, which includes pothole repair, snow plowing, grading gravel roads and other preventive routine care. In some cases, local millages support work like crack and chip sealing and other projects.
The 83 members of the County Road Association represent the unified, credible and effective voice for a safe and efficient local road system in Michigan, collectively managing more than 73 percent of all roads in the state– more than 90,000 miles and 5,700 bridges— the fourth-largest county road system in the nation.