The Board of County Road Commissioners, County of Ottawa, has released the following statement regarding Gov. Whitmer’s bonding proposal for road improvements:
“While we appreciate the effort by the Governor and state leaders to find a funding solution to fix the state’s roads and bridges, we are disappointed that funding for county roads seems to be left out of the most-recent proposal.
“The Governor’s campaign promise was to ‘Fix the Damn Roads,’ and that should mean all roads within Michigan. The Governor’s proposal will address needs of the state trunkline system – which makes up just 8% of the statewide road network. However it fails to address the critical needs of our county and local roads and bridges. The local road system is as important to Michigan tax payers as the state system, and as such, any proposal that doesn’t include funding for roads at the local level will lead to further deterioration and make it difficult for us and other county road agencies to bring our roads up to the same goals as MDOT.
“We’re also concerned that using bonds to maintain the existing system isn’t fiscally responsible, as the bond repayment schedules have historically exceeded the life of these improvements. For example, payments are still be made on the road bonding that was taken out during Governor Engler and Granholm tenures.
“Our continued hope is that the Governor and Legislature can continue to work toward finding a funding solution that will benefit all roads and bridges in the state, not just the state trunkline, and that uses the Act 51 distribution, which is sustainable, Constitutionally-protected and fair.”