Patterson requests $2M for Road Commission

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | C&G Newspapers | Published May 14, 2015


OAKLAND COUNTY —  With the defeat of Proposal 1, voters sent a clear message to the Legislature that a better solution is needed to fix Michigan roads.

But until that solution is found, drivers will continue to battle growing potholes.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a press release that the Road Commission for Oakland County has a choice to make: repair potholes or replace aging equipment, which is why Patterson has sent a resolution to the Board of Commissioners requesting a one-time appropriation of $2 million to assist the Road Commission in replacing equipment. If the Board of Commissioners approves the resolution, the Road Commission would use the money to replace 12 tandem dump trucks with accessories and three John Deere motor graders, which would in total cost the Road Commission $3.8 million. The $2 million would allow the Road Commission to free up funds it had intended to use on the equipment to complete additional road improvement projects.

The resolution was introduced to the Board of Commissioners on May 6 and is currently being reviewed by the county’s Finance Committee, according to Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer. The committee was slated to meet May 14. If the resolution passes, it would amend the county’s 2015 budget, a press release states.

“It’s a decision so urgent that it can’t wait for Lansing to act,” Patterson said in a press release. “That is why Oakland County is making this one-time appropriation to help with the purchase of much-needed road equipment.”

Craig Bryson, public information officer for the Road Commission, said the Road Commission is appreciative of the resolution and the possible one-time appropriation of $2 million, especially since the Road Commission “desperately” needs the new equipment.

“What this will do is allow us to free up (funds) we had intended to use on this equipment and do some additional road improvement initiatives,” Bryson said, adding that the appropriation is a win-win because the Road Commission would not only get new equipment, but it would also expand its road improvement program.

Oakland County Commissioner John Scott said that even though the Road Commission is a separate entity from Oakland County government, he thinks the appropriation is a good plan.

“We’ve got to do something for the roads, and this is showing our little bit of support for the Road Commission,” Scott said. “It’s not a lot, but it’s better than nothing.”