Flanders Street in Farmington Hills was in rough shape in 2016. A new millage was passed by residents in Farmington Hills to bring an answer to some local roads in disrepair.

Flanders Street in Farmington Hills was in rough shape in 2016. A new millage was passed by residents in Farmington Hills to bring an answer to some local roads in disrepair.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


Road millage approved in Farmington Hills

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published November 12, 2018

FARMINGTON HILLS — Voters in Farmington Hills took to the polls Nov. 6 and approved the local road millage on their ballot on Election Day.

The charter amendment for the city of Farmington Hills passed with 22,266 votes, or about 60 percent, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Elections Division.

The no votes tallied 15,666, or 41.3 percent. A total of 37,932 people voted.

The vote will allow for the city to transition from special assessment districts to pay for road improvements to a local road millage.

The city charter currently requires SADs for local road reconstruction in neighborhoods.

Finance Director Steve Barr said earlier this year that there are 1,764 parcels in active SADs, though “some have already been paid off.”

Barr said that all but 11 of the 1,764 parcels are residential properties.

The city has 243 miles of local streets, 129 miles of which are in poor condition, 71 miles of which are fair, 21 miles of which are good, and 22 miles of which are gravel roads.

Per the city’s directed special assessments for road improvements policy — approved by the City Council in April 2016 — local roads are given priority to be improved based on a pavement condition rating and a number of other factors, including housing density, Department of Public Works upkeep and public interest.

Under that policy, the city is responsible for paying 20 percent of the cost of repairs, while residents living on that road pay 80 percent.

Under the approved 2.57-mill road tax, a resident with a home that has a market value of $229,000 will pay $247.50 annually.

The millage will be in effect in perpetuity, Barr stated in an email.

The road tax will show up on residents’ summer 2019 property tax bills, and construction could start in the summer.

Farmington Hills City Clerk Pamela B. Smith stated in an email that Farmington Hills had an “incredible turnout” by voters for the general election, with over 65 percent of the registered voters coming out to vote.

“Compared to 50 percent in 2014 and 54 percent in 2010,” she said. “Absentee voting was also high with over 13,000 ballots returned, nearly a 97 percent return rate.”

Smith said that Farmington Hills voters passed state Proposal 18-1 with 56 percent of the votes in favor and voted Gretchen Whitmer in for governor with 64 percent of the votes.

“Polling locations reported heavy turnout in the morning and were fairly steady throughout the day,” she said.