Residents speak on Clinton Township special assessment district

By: Dean Vaglia | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published December 18, 2023

 North Miles Road in Clinton Township might be repaired through a special assessment district.

North Miles Road in Clinton Township might be repaired through a special assessment district.

Photo by Dean Vaglia


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Residents of North Miles Road, a neighborhood located off of Little Mack Avenue and west of Groesbeck Highway, came out to speak about a paving special assessment at the Dec. 4 Clinton Township Board of Trustees meeting.

The special assessment district would involve the repaving and associated drainage improvement of 1,750 feet of North Miles with the costs spread across 34 parcels adjacent to the street. SADs are signature-initiated improvement projects, and 19 property owners (56% of affected properties) signed a petition in favor of creating the district. The estimated cost of the project is $939,250 with the Macomb County Department of Roads picking up half of the bill, reducing costs from $275.45 per assessable foot of frontage to $137.73.

“The numbers that exist currently are based on an estimate by our department of public services and engineers,” Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem said. “After this process goes forward, the Department of Roads is going to take this project out to bid. Those will be the actual numbers.”

Cost and other project numbers were the first questions raised by North Miles resident Louis Comaianni, who was one of six residents to address the board during the first public hearing about the district. Comaianni said he was not approached by a petition circulator and was not presented the project’s numbers prior to the early December meeting.

According to Gieleghem, the SAD process is halted if the bid comes back more than 10% higher than the estimate.

Comaianni also took issue with there being no road improvement millage for Clinton Township, meaning residents fund road repairs through SADs rather than through municipal funds. Gieleghem explained that the township has no control over its roads; instead, the county roads department and the Michigan Department of Transportation work on major roads while the township helps the county determine which roads to work on. A measure to establish a road improvement millage failed in 2018.

This is the second SAD petition circulated for North Miles in recent years. The last one came before the board in mid-December 2022 but failed to reach the 50% signature threshold.

“A new petitioner came forward and asked for it,” Clinton Township Public Works Director Mary Bednar said. “If for some reason we were to drop below (50% support) and someone else (wanted a petition), that’s their right. That’s the law. Anyone can request for a special assessment for their neighborhood.”

Resident Greg Csernai voiced the most enthusiastic support for the road, favorably comparing South Miles Road’s repairs to the current state of North Miles.

“After 35 years, our road has gone to hell,” Csernai said. “(I) have a neighbor that lives behind me on South Miles and is very impressed with what was done on South Miles.”

Csernai said an extra layer of asphalt was added to South Miles; affected portions of driveways were replaced with concrete and the road grading was fixed so water did not pool in the street. The South Miles resident mentioned, Jorg Schueler, reiterated approval of the repairs and encouraged more North Miles residents to support the SAD.

At the end of the public hearing, the township board passed procedural resolutions. Another public hearing will be held at a later date.