Grant Twp. approves final road plans

April 11, 2019

By Pat Maurer

Following the annual meeting, a revised and changed road plan for 2019 was approved at the regular Grant Township meeting Tuesday evening.
Of the three proposed plans, Supervisor Dan Dysinger recommended that the board approve Version 1. He said, Version 1 is the least aggressive and the most likely to be completed this year by the Clare County Road Commission.”

Dysinger told the board, ““In a recent meeting with CCRC Management to finalize our 2019 road improvements it was revealed that a number of gravel improvement projects are being considered, over 12 or 13 County wide.”

He said, “I offered to remove the gravel improvements that impacted Grant Township, specifically, Cornwell Ave. between Beaverton Rd. and Surrey Rd., a sharing project with Sheridan Township.  Also, offered to be removed was gravel improvements on Adams Rd. between Old 27 and Cornwell Ave., a sharing project with Hatton Township.”

He added, “It was also discussed that too many improvement projects will directly impact any needed gravel maintenance operations, County wide.  It was agreed that these two gravel projects postponed could jump to the top of the list in 2020.  It was discussed that pavement edge maintenance is needed, but I did not agree that the Township would pay for such maintenance, as it is not on our list this summer.”

“Winter [weather] was not kind to our paved surfaces,” he said. “A previous chip and seal project on Dover Rd. between Old 27 and Grant Rd. has been reevaluated and a 1.5 inch resurface is [now] required. Our projects therefore will be limited to those which were not completed in 2018 and adding the Dover Rd. resurface.  We thank CCRC Engineering for suggestions and reevaluations, eventually saving us money.”

The approved list of road improvements, approved by the board Tuesday evening, totaling $288,500 with a $40,000 CCRC match for this year in Grant Township are:

*$82,500 for 1.5 inches of HMA (hot mix asphalt) on White Birch/Deepwoods Drive at the west end of the Five Lakes Subdivision, held over from 2018;

*$50,000 for 1.5” HMA on Washington Road between M-115 and Harrison carried over from 2018;

*$50,000 for 1.5” HMA on Columbus Drive from Washington Drive to the dead end;

*$80,000 for 1.5” HMA on Dover Road between Old US 27 and Grant Road; and

*Two applications of dust control totaling $26,000.

In another matter Tuesday, Dysinger discussed the lame duck changes in how local units of government, including townships, cities and villages perform assessing responsibilities.

He said the new rules will, “require making assessing records available online, setting procedures to make regular office hours for assessors and timelines for answering complaints.  Township Boards in general will need training and more training will be necessary for Boards of Review.  While many of the specific new rules have not been made by the State Tax Commission, the timeline requirements indicate this will happen in 2021.”
“It means we’re facing even more costs for us,” Dysinger said. “Local Taxpayers must know the additional duties and services will be paid from local coffers, forcing another “unfunded mandate”. 

He said the state has said local units can get some of those costs back through a 1 percent administrative fee, something about one-half of Clare County’s Townships are already doing. “So far we haven’t charged our residents the 1% Administrative fee to offset the costs, but we will have to implement them either this year or next, depending on rule development from the state treasury.”

He added, “The Legislature went so far as suggesting this is the preferred method of funding the new required services, placing the burden directly on local taxpayers.”

When he asked the attending County Commissioners for their reports, Dysinger told them that township supervisors are planning to attend the April 17 County Commission meeting. “We have a couple of items we want to discuss,” he said. “One is correcting Road Commissioner’s salaries and the second is a proposal to change the Road Commission board from three members to five.”

During his report to the board, County Chair Jack Kleinhardt outlined his belief that the governor’s proposed 45 cent gas tax increase “is a bad deal for us.”

He said the Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she won’t sign a new budget without the $2.5 billion gas tax increase. “A gas increase hurts us,” he said. “It will slow the economy.”

He added that the new tax would not be distributed through the Act 51 funds, saying a separate fund would be set up for that distribution. “Act 52 is still the fairest way of allocating transportation money. Any other way and Clare County loses,” he said. He said the tax would hurt lower income people that depend on transportation to get back and forth to work the most.”

Liz Bouchey agreed that the additional gas tax would hurt our area saying, her business would suffer. She said, “We spend $5,000 a week in fuel and about $8,000 weekly in the summer. That increase would and $117,000 annually to our costs. Other small businesses may have to make layoffs just to cover their costs. Some may go out of business.”

In other business at the regular meeting:

*The board approved an unlimited renewal of the contract with Ordinance Enforcement Officer Rod Williams with a 30-day cancellation clause by either party.

*The board approved a proposal totaling $628.00 with Abbot Image to develop a website for the township, including downloadable forms for building and electrical permits which could be filled out online and mailed or delivered to the township.

*The Board approved bills totaling $55,226.79.

*Dysinger noted that the road dust control treatments will be on June 12th and on July 30th.

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