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Township waiting on county approval for road work

Resident petitions surpass 50-percent threshold

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published April 20, 2016

Don Cline/Shutterstock

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Step one of the local road reconstruction was successful. Now, the ball is in the county’s court.

At the April 11 Clinton Township Board of Trustees meeting, the board unanimously approved a special assessment district, or SAD, for residents of Santa Anna and Santa Barbara streets.

Trustee Ken Pearl neither voted nor participated in the matter due to living in that particular district.

Residents of the district circulated petitions to establish SADs for each particular road. The requirement is for more than 50 percent of a district’s residents to sign the petition in approval.

Santa Anna saw 56.1 percent of residents sign the petition, while 54.4 percent of Santa Barbara residents did the same.

The petitions are a way for township residents to benefit from Macomb County’s Subdivision Road Match Program, which allows for the township to monetarily match funds with the county as a way of rehabilitating infrastructure.

Currently, the Macomb County Department of Roads has no funds available for its current fiscal year, which runs on a different schedule than that of the township. Pending county approval, half the funds would be reimbursed after Oct. 1 of this year, while the other half would be reimbursed by the residents of the SAD.

The total cost of the project is $1.5 million.

“The roads have aged, so it’s time to get them reconstructed, and the residents came and asked for it,” said Township Public Services Director Mary Bednar. “(Residents) had enough of aging roads and wanted to get them compared.”

Bednar said Macomb County’s road reconstruction fund has approximately $2 million in its budget.

Estimates were prepared by the township’s engineering firm, Giffels Webster, and they were reviewed by the county. This particular project would involve pulverizing existing asphalt, machine-grading that material, shaping and compacting the base, and then placing 4 to 5 inches of new asphalt over the compacted base.

The project would also include the installation of an edge drain along both sides of the road, along with storm drainage improvements at low points.

Supervisor Bob Cannon said the township simply cannot afford to pay 50 percent of SADs for every subdivision that needs help. The township is doing the best it can, he said. A recent agreement between the township and the county resulted in construction on 19 Mile Road and Cimarron.

Cannon also said the township will not move forward with the SAD if the county doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain. He compared it to a construction company building homes in a brand new subdivision, then watching the roofs of each home fall apart and telling the homeowners to take heed.

“I’m saying my prayers,” Cannon said. “I hope the county does what they told us they would do.”

The first stage of the process, after signature accumulation beyond 50 percent, involved approval from the Board of Trustees to pay for half the project. Now, the township is waiting on the county on whether it will hold up its end of the bargain.

A letter from Bednar to the board prior to the April 11 meeting stated that Macomb County Department of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner was contacted.

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