Clinton Township trustees discuss future of road work

By: Dean Vaglia | C&G Newspapers | Published October 12, 2022


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Board of Trustees began their regular meeting Oct. 3 with a presentation on road work.

Delivered by Treasurer Paul Gieleghem, the presentation was prepared by the Establishing Quality Roadways Subcommittee to discuss the funding of road repairs and upgrades — particularly, funding challenges and solutions.

Road funds are collected through taxes by various government levels and methods and are distributed to communities as determined by the formula in Public Act 51 of 1951. The act bases funding on centerline miles rather than lane miles, in effect providing the same amount of funds for a five-mile, five-lane road as a five-mile, two-lane road.

“We have 104 centerline miles but 320 lane miles … Those areas in the north (Shelby and Macomb townships) are fighting to fix their existing roads and then take their two-lane roads and turn them into five-lane roads,” Gieleghem said. “We’re fighting to fix those roads that were already developed many, many years ago that are already five-lane roads.”

In addition to the centerline disadvantage, townships do not receive a share of road monies from the Michigan Transportation Fund like cities and villages do. A notable source of PA 51 funds come from gas taxes, which Gieleghem sees as decreasing with the rise of hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

While nearly $33 million was spent on 35 miles of road projects in the township between 2008 and 2021, the subcommittee determined several steps that could be taken to get more funding and better utilize existing funding. These steps include providing support to residents seeking special assessment districts for residential road repairs, committing general fund monies to road projects as needed, utilizing a road repair formula to more equitably determine which roads get fixed, and lobbying via letter writing campaigns to get laws changed that affect how road funding is distributed.


Emergency services funds and expenses
Trustees approved various items regarding capital improvements and purchases for township emergency services.

Wing Construction Inc. of Shelby Township was awarded a $238,900 contract to renovate the Clinton Township Police Department’s command center.

“This space was previously our dispatch area … It has not been used since our dispatch was consolidated in 2013, so it’s essentially an empty space,” Police Chief Dina Caringi said. “We’ve grown with technology and with other things, (and) that area would help us immensely just to serve the public a lot better — as far as the operations command center — with integrating better technology and a larger space for the command staff to utilize, to run more efficiently.”

The fire department was approved to spend over $1.56 million to order two new fire engines from Pierce Manufacturing, which will be delivered in 2024 or 2025. The move was made as purchasing both at the same time would save $13,500 in travel and training expenses, while also avoiding a rise in engine prices scheduled to occur on Nov. 1.

Trustees approved transferring about $629,000 from the fire vehicle and equipment replacement fund from the 2021-2022 budget to the 2022-2023 budget due to the vehicle in question not being delivered one budget year late.

The board amended the scope of the Fire Station 2 pavement improvement project to include door threshold work at Station 4. Awarded to Metropolitan Concrete of Sterling Heights for $18,555, the decision to expand the project rather than seek new bids was due to it being late in the construction season and Metropolitan’s performance on similar projects at Station 2 and Station 3.


Water amendments
The board also introduced two sets of amendments to township water ordinances.

First was Ordinance 481, which updates the standards for designing and constructing water infrastructure.

The board also passed a resolution to increase the fee schedule for engineering services, public works services, and water and sewer rates. The new water rate is $3.33 per 100 cubic feet, and the new sewer rate is $6.49 per 100 cubic feet.