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Rochester Hills voters to decide road millage Nov. 5

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 23, 2019


ROCHESTER HILLS — Voters in Rochester Hills will be asked if they want to renew a local road millage Nov. 5.

Rochester Hills currently has three separate local street millages with a combined total of 1.0965 mills — which provide for the maintenance, repair and reconstruction of local streets in the city  — that are set to expire in 2020.

On Nov. 5, city residents will be asked to roll the three expiring local street millages into one combined local street millage at the same rate of 1.0965 mills beginning in 2021 for the next 10 years.

“This is an effort for the effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. “We’re certainly not asking for more — even though costs have gone up for just about everything — we’re asking for the same amount to continue to maintain the road network in all four seasons here in the city of Rochester Hills.”

Barnett stressed that the proposal would not raise taxes beyond the current tax rate, and he said tax bills would stay exactly the same. The only change, he said, would be going from three millages down to one. However, if the proposal were to fail at the polls, it would represent a tax reduction of 1.0965 mills per year. That amounts to $164.48 per year for the owner of a home with a taxable value of $150,000.

“We’re trying to do things in an efficient way, so instead of going for these three millages every couple of years, we want to just go for one, and we’re not asking for a penny more. We’re staying within the budget that the residents have approved in the past,” Barnett said.

Rochester Hills Department of Public Services Director Allan Schneck said local streets — which are mainly the roads within the city’s neighborhoods — make up a majority of the city’s road network. He said the local streets millages currently contribute approximately 40% of annual local street fund revenues.

“A renewed local street millage would dedicate over $4 million each year for the maintenance, repair and reconstruction of the local street system, which includes winter operations; our annual reconstruction and rehabilitation program; preservation, like crack sealing, sweeping, pothole patching, gravel road grading; and traffic services, which pertains to all the traffic signs that we maintain here in the city,” Schneck said. “And you can actually see the services being provided. You can see the streets being rehabilitated and reconstructed, and those services and that reconstruction, in my opinion, improves the quality of life.”

Barnett said the local streets millage renewal — which was recommended by the Rochester Hills Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee — is “critically important” for the city.

“If we didn’t get this road millage, we would not have money to pay to reconstruct, to fill potholes and to plow the streets,” Barnett said. “Again, we’re not asking for anything more. We’re just asking for a continuance of what the residents have been paying in order for us to take care of the roads.”

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