Raisin Trustees meet to discuss roads with committee
On Friday, June 27, the Raisin Township Board of Trustees and road committee heard from Scio Township Supervisor Spaulding Clark about the special assessment his township approved as a way to finance road repairs and maintenance.
Like Raisin Township, funding for roads originally came out of the general fund, leaving Scio Township without the proper funding.
“We have to really relate this to what Raisin Township’s needs are,” said Interim Superintendent Jim Palmer. “We have to apply this to what we have.”
Raisin Township is the second largest township in the county, with the second largest amount of roads, yet is last in road funding, according to Raisin Township Supervisor Jay Cavanaugh.
“There’s no hope on the horizon for money from Lansing,” said Spaulding.
The road committee is to take what Spaulding presented and use that information to come up with road funding recommendations to the board.
Road Committee Chair Steven McGee asked for clarification about who owns the roads in the township, which has been a point of contention.
“All the roads in the township are owned by the county — you don’t own any roads. Technically, you don’t have a responsibility for the roads, except to say you live here,” said Bill Costick, a representative from OHM, an engineering, architecture and planning firm. “Anything you raise is contribution to the county.”
Costick said a good relationship with the county road commission does help in securing funding for road repairs.
“We don’t have to fear the road commission,” said Cavanaugh.
Going forward, the road committee will continue to weigh a special assessment, bond issue, dedicated road millage, and raising a millage without voter approval, which the board has the power to do.
“Everything is on the table,” said Cavanaugh.
“I think when people see a benefit, they will go along with it,” Spaulding added.
The board has until August 12 to submit ballot language for a voter-approved dedicated road millage.
“The goal here is to put something together at the next regular meeting,” said Cavanaugh.
“When people see that their township is being taken care of, money being spent wisely, they don’t have any problem renewing those things,” said township resident Stan Wilson. “We should have, over the years, kept up with all the roads, and they got kind of neglected, but now its going to be a big chore to get them in the condition they need to be.”
“We got ourselves in a dilemma. We’re going to get out of it. We’re going to work hard to get out of it. Collectively, we’ll try,” said Palmer.
The board also approved the appointment of Brian Kinney to the road committee.