Hamilton road millage on ballot again

April 25, 2014

Dear Editor,
Recently Mr. Bushong was invited out to Hamilton Township to talk about roads. We appreciated his time and information concerning the state of Michigan’s county and township roads, the cost and types of repairs, and how our county roads are funded. He and his men do a GREAT job – especially in daunting winter weather. To the surprise of many, his department uses its men, time and resources to monitor the use of our roads by over-weight trucks – never seeing any collected fines to be given back for the damaged roads! Mr. Bushong responded to our questions and comments respectfully as though he understood the plight of the taxpayer, too.
So it is that, once again, Hamilton Township residents are beckoned to the polls and requested to vote “yes” to an increase to property taxes. Last August we had said “No”. “No” to 2 mills for roads because many of us just cannot afford an increase in our taxes.

Hamilton Township has a significant population of retired people. Many are “snow birds” and are not here yet or even aware that this vote is coming up! Retired people are on fixed incomes with no prospects of increased earnings while our economy demands more and more of their resources. Increased costs to eat, travel, visit doctors, buy meds, insurance, electricity, etc., etc., etc. Everything increases but income! Remember that recent portion in the paper listing all those who owed taxes? Clue enough! We don’t need more taxes!

Another reason a “No” vote was cast in August was because many think a “user” based solution would be more appropriate. Two summers ago there was a “fracked” well in our community. The trucking traffic was horrendous. A company called “DCP Midstream” wants to build a gas processing plant here, also. Many residents fell we would be paying to repair roads only to have them destroyed again by big gas and equipment trucks. In a recent conversation with Mr. Mayhew from MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation), he stated that it takes approximately one hundred thousand passenger cars to equal the damage one large truck perpetrates on our roads. If this gas plant is forced upon us, perhaps they should pay for the roads!

It has been reported on TV and in numerous newspapers that the state was going to delegate funds to repair our roads (from taxes we already paid!). Why not wait and see what they can do? Let’s be creative. Why not apply for grants like other townships have done?

According to Mr. Mayhew, there are various grants – federal and state – that our board members can apply for to fix our roads. Applicants need only to justify the request, have an accepted plan and not be too greedy. Can’t we try this approach?

I actually comprehend that our roads need extra tending. Old 27 towards Clare is in a deplorable state! But the cost of all road projects should be put on the “users”, not the property owners. For a second time, I vote “No” for a 2 mill increase on my taxes.

A Resolved Resident,
Barbara Lambdin

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