Where the money goes and our planned road program in 2018

December 29, 2017

Seems impossible we can say 2017 is in the books, but it’s been an interesting year.  Somehow our National economy is doing well.  We still have that pesky

Dan Dysinger, Grant Twp Supervisor

Dan Dysinger, Grant Twp Supervisor

looming $20 Trillion dollar National debt hanging over us; the money printers will continue to water down the dollar in attempts to pay it off.  Debt is the bane of society; money has never been so cheap to borrow.  However, one must look at the total costs to finance in order to quantify a projects actual cost.  Remember, the 1980’s and it’s inflationary atmosphere, debt interest hoovered over 10%.  Inflation today is really higher than they tell us, but that is a separate debate.

I try each year to outline in our Township where all that tax money goes when we pay our ever increasing property taxes.  I can say it’s easier to figure out where the money goes on a local level unlike the financial sifting screen of State and Federal dollars.  So here are the numbers as we have them based upon our taxable base of about $97.5 million dollars.

County Senior .75 mills=$73,115
County Transit .30 mills=$29,246    County 911 .35 mills=$34,114
Pere Marquette Library .9931mills=$116,414 includes penal fines
Farwell School debt
2.44 mills=$112,938
Clare School debt 2.90mills=$148,480
RESD operating .4075mills=$39,737
RESD Special Ed. 1.6310mills=$159,044
MMCC 1.2232mills=$119,278
CTE Program 1.0mills=$97,513
Township Operating .7515mills=$73,280
Township Fire 1.1mills=$107,264
Township Roads 1.2mills=$117,016
The next two are summer tax levies,
County Operating 4.7072=459,013
State Education Tax 6.0mills=$585,078

There are about 1520 homes in Grant that are levied a Rubbish Assessment, it is $110 per household.  So there are the numbers for this year, not a lot of difference from last year, but creeping inflation is a vile tax we all pay.

Taxpayers should be reminded that this year’s inflationary increase in your taxable value will be 2.1%, remember that is cast in Proposal A’s passage in 1994.  I’ll cover more on that later when we outline Board of Review stuff.

Lets now look into the crystal ball of 2018.  From the perspective of infrastructure or road work we have a plan which takes us out to 2021.  In 2018 we are planning on the following work;  Ultra Thin or 1.5in paving of Gravel Ridge, Middle Dr., Meadow Lane, Creekview Dr.. Kapplinger Rd. from Harrison Ave. to Maple Grove 1.5 in. paving.  Deepwoods Dr., White Birch Dr., ultra thin or 1.5in paving.  Grant Road, Maple Rd. to Clarabella, chip seal.  Clarabella from Grant Road to Coolidge project sharing with Vernon Township and Isabella County Road Commission, a 3 mile graveling project.

We anticipate spending about $340,000 on road maintenance at the Township level, these projects of course could shift depending on where material costs land.  Money comes from the General Fund, Millage and CCRC match.

I was chatting with a Township Resident the other day, he was complaining about spending on paved road chip seals and why we do that, to him it seemed a waste of money.  Here is the summarized part of it.  Chip seals save road surfaces that qualify for its application.  Heavily rutted road surfaces don’t usually qualify for such treatment.  They call road surfaces that are spider cracked as precariously close to severe failure.  If a road surface is cracking badly and is chip sealed it can add several years at half the cost to repave.

In 2013 Grant Township funded entirely chip sealing about 5 miles of paved surfaces.  These surfaces do not have any pot holes and are still holding up well; admittedly they will eventually need to be resurfaced.  However, we may even chip seal a second time, if the surfaces are not rutted badly.

Quite simply, it’s far cheaper to chip seal than repave; less than half the cost, the other alternative is let potholes and patches develop.  Then the costs to improve the surface increases substantially.

I always refer to the Clare County Road Commission Manager, Deepak Gupta, as the King of Chip Seals.  While he has vast knowledge of what applications best fit on each surface, there are other County Road Commissions using chip seals processes widely.  It appears to be catching on, in an era where maintenance costs increase annually and stretching tax dollars is always a goal, this is a reasonable solution; one that clearly works.

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