Letters to the Editor

Fix roads with current funds, reader says

Dear Editor,
A new road millage is not the answer to better roads (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
First we should start by lowering the weight limits commercial vehicles are allowed to carry. Overweight trucks crush our roads. Strictly enforce fines for over weight vehicles.
Repairing existing potholes by throwing asphalt by a shovel into the hole, pushed down by vehicle traffic, does not work. Properly prep the area, tack spray with asphalt primer, fill the hole and roll with a roller.
We currently have a property tax, county tax, gas tax and an increase in vehicle registration fees which was earmarked for road repairs.
With all of these current taxes we need to hold those agencies accountable to spend the proper amount that is collected for road repairs on road repairs.
If we pass a millage and pay more for road repairs they will continue to misuse those funds, and as always the taxpayer will pay more.
We could have good roads with the current amount collected if it was properly managed.
Michael Tharrett
Independence Township

Road millage would pay off for reader

Dear Editor,
I certainly agree our roads are in desparate need of attention, including our residential streets – let’s not forget them (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
The Home Owners Association (HOA) I live in has been trying for several years to get our association to get its members to agree to a special assessment by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC)to replace our streets, but at the cost of about $15,000-$18,000 per houshold to be paid over 10 years. I’ll let you guess where this idea is right now.
First, I believe the millage is a good idea. It would spread it out better and not be nearly as expensive individually, but I would like to see the millage include neighborhood streets in desperate need of attention, too.
A millage that will only include our main roads may have a little trouble getting buy-in from the voters if it doesn’t have a direct impact on them.
What I mean is, our roads are used by many more people than just the residents who live here in Independence Township. I know if I’m going to vote for my added taxes to pay for road repairs, I will have less heartburn if there is a guarantee the RCOC will contribute to the project.
That means the remaining money, if the full amount Mr. Kittle proposed of 2 mils is passed, could be used to repair residential streets as well.
Reviewing this every two years as suggested by Barb Pallotta would allow everyone who votes to make their own determination if this millage is worth extending.
I would go on to suggest an application process is put in place for neighborhood associations to use for whatever needs they have for their roads.
If/when approved, these neighborhoods would pay a percentage of the total cost as a special assessment, with the balance paid by the road tax collected.
I think this would be far less cost than what I mentioned earlier being tried by my HOA, and would be better received by the voter/tax payer. And guess what, it would contribute to the value of our neighborhoods and community when our roads looks good – inside and out. Just a thought.
Bob Cesario
Independence Township

New Summer Shindig fundraiser for SCAMP

Dear Editor,
The SCAMP Funding Corporation is excited to introduce a new fundraising event for SCAMP.
The Summer Shindig Party is on June 16. and will take the place of the SCAMP Home Tour this year. While the Home Tour has been a popular and successful fundraiser for 35 years, participation and support have decreased in recent years.
With that in mind, we have decided to explore other opportunities this summer and are excited for the change.
With over 50 percent of the 220-plus kids who attend SCAMP needing financial aid to attend camp, we need your continued support.
If you are interested in attending, in sponsoring or in donating money or auction items, please contact SCAMP at 248-623-8089.
As always, we are deeply grateful to all those who faithfully support our kids and SCAMP. We couldn’t make this happen without you!
Sincerely,
Aimee Baker, executive director
SCAMP Funding Corp.

A call to bring back Clarkston Labor Day parade

Dear Editor,
For the first time in many, many years, Clarkston did not have a Labor Day parade, and it was missed, not only because it is a national holiday, but because it was one of the many reasons people from all over make Clarkston a destination.
Can’t some way be found to restore this event? Perhaps, it would help if we especially dedicated the day to those who “labor” for us, sometimes unselfishly, such as police, firefighters, teachers, nurses, public employees, Habitat, etc. What do you think?
Thank you.
Tom Stone
Clarkston

No to road millage

Dear Editor,
No! I definitely do not support a road millage (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
More than likely, it would never be enough money and the millage would continue to go up. Wouldn’t it be “neat” if the additional sales tax added on gasoline for the purpose of fixing roads be used for just that!
But here we are again adding some more of the taxpayers money that never goes towards the initial issue the tax was intended for.
Wouldn’t it be “neat” if we had toll roads for all heavy delivery trucks and hundreds of nonresident concert goers, as well as other nonresidents, let’s share the expense with everybody in the little oasis called Independence Township! I definitely do not support a road millage.
Sandy Hultman
Independence Township

Millage bad idea

Dear Editor,
I think this is a really bad idea to assess Independence Township residents with the new tax to fix the roads (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
We ought to be spending our time pushing the Oakland County Road Commission to get out here and fix them.
We are already paying for that. I’m afraid if we institute a tax here, that will give the county a reason to reduce allocation of the resources to our area. It’s only a natural move on their part.
In summary, let’s not add to our tax burden here, let’s work to solve it at the county level where the responsibility and accountability should live.
Jay R Taylor
Independence Township

No way to millage idea

Dear Editor,
Regarding the recent article about a special millage for roads in Independence Township, my answer is NO WAY (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
We pay enough in road related taxes and fees for state and county roads already. If the township supervisor wants township residents to pay for paved roads let’s pave the roads the township owns.
Anyone who thinks the township will do a good job with a road millage needs to look at how it is doing with the sidewalk/safety path millage.
Over 25 years, township residents have been paying a sidewalk/safety path millage and still not one single path connects the north end with the south. Not one single consistant sidewalk down M-15. Not one down Sashabaw Road, Clintonville Road, or Holcomb. They did look into wasting $4 million for a pedestrian bridge over I-75 though.
I appreciate the time and fact Mr. Kittle is exploring options for the roads, but look into those that don’t raise taxes or fees.
Thanks,
Carl Bidinger
Independence Township

Support for road millage

Dear Editor,
I would be in support of an additional, not to exceed, 2-mill property tax increase for road repairs in the township (“Township mulls road millage to fix roads,” April 11).
David Fritzinger
Clarkston

2 Responses to "Letters to the Editor"

  1. Mark Petterson   April 19, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Interesting how much people don’t know about road funding.Lets pull a few statements and discuss.

    1.With all of these current taxes we need to hold those agencies accountable to spend the proper amount that is collected for road repairs on road repairs.

    Answer, They are spending the proper amount through Tri-Party funds,In case you didn’t notice last year the township used the funds to fix or band aid several roads. the funds are being used properly as allotted for Independence Township,however more is needed as residents just don’t understand the cost, key word COST, as taxpayers demand low bid its their own fault. You get what you pay for. The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.

    2.I know if I’m going to vote for my added taxes to pay for road repairs, I will have less heartburn if there is a guarantee the RCOC will contribute to the project.

    Answer. The RCOC is contributing to the project 450K worth, additionally the Township provides up to 5% of total cost for neighborhood improvement. Its not a lot or as much as some in the past but it helps.

    3.Wouldn’t it be “neat” if we had toll roads for all heavy delivery trucks and hundreds of nonresident concert goers, as well as other nonresidents, let’s share the expense with everybody in the little oasis called Independence Township! I definitely do not support a road millage.

    Answer. Disappointing statement,( as well as other non residents), The concert goer does in no way create stress on the asphalt other than traffic backups, their vehicles are lite enough to not put additional harm to road surface, when was the last time you seen a dump truck going to a concert? Apparently by the writers statement NO non residents should be allowed to drive through The Township when the roads are public property, that might work for you here but what if every community adopted toll roads and it cost 50 bucks just to drive to Southfield and another 50 to get home.

    4.We pay enough in road related taxes and fees for state and county roads already. If the township supervisor wants township residents to pay for paved roads let’s pave the roads the township owns.
    Anyone who thinks the township will do a good job with a road millage needs to look at how it is doing with the sidewalk/safety path millage.

    Answer, Yes lets pave the roads the township owns, we can start with,,,? The Township DOES NOT OWN ANY ROADS,, the county owns the road, meaning public property for anyone in the United States. The Township will do a better job with the millage as we won’t be fighting with other communities for funding. Turning our local roads dirt will sure get everyones attention something that should not be off the table and I personally would support that.

    I could go on and on about road funding, I do understand the process better than most, However, the poor road situation in OUR community will never change, EVER, unless we take control of our own destiny, something must be done to equal our taxable values. Do I want a mill for the roads? Well not really, but what else is there? Unless someone pukes 16k signatures to make it go to the ballot then its gonna happen anyway. You have less than 44 days to get er done.

    Reply
  2. Michael Powell   April 19, 2018 at 10:38 am

    (Disclosure: I do not work for a road repair company, I do not have an association with a road repair company, nor do I profit in any way from a road repair company. Can others say the same?) That being said…

    So Independence township officials want to increase property taxes by 2 mills to do road repairs when they know that taxpayers have recently incurred HUGE state tax increases to fund road repairs? “Township mulls road millage to fix roads” April 11, 2018, Clarkston News.
    I’ve mulled over the facts of the states 2015 road tax hike and have found that the township’s proposal is unreasonable and ignores the HUGE tax increases the state has already hit residents with to fix our existing road problems.

    Instead of “mulling” a township road millage, township officials should be pressing our state representatives to work hard to get the state to return the road taxes they have been collecting from the 2015 road funding tax bill it imposed upon taxpayers rather than taking the easy way out by proposing a tax hike on personal property owners. This proposal is especially concerning now that some residents have already called for those funds to be used on subdivision roads. Suggesting that they “would like to see the millage include neighborhood streets in desperate need of attention, too.” And suggest that “an application process be put in place for neighborhood associations to use those funds for whatever needs they have for their roads.” Those would be the same neighborhood associations that have known all along that funding for “whatever needs they have for their roads” has always been the neighborhood associations responsibility, not the township, or county taxpayers responsibility.

    Taxpayers have grown tired of the “$7.69 a week – about the price of a grande latte at Starbuck’s or less than two beers at the Tap” analogies every time a government bureaucrat proposes a tax increase on fixed income residents who can’t afford a $7.69 coffee, or two beers at The Tap. Why rush to impose more taxes on township residents when the results of the numerous road tax increases are just being realized? Do township officials honestly think that taxpayers have forgotten that in 2015 the Michigan legislature passed HUGE tax increases to fund road repairs, knowing that many of those increases didn’t start until 2017?

    Under that law the average annual registration cost per vehicle increased by $26.50, Michigan’s per gallon gas tax increased by 7.3-cents per gallon, and the diesel fuel tax increased by 11.5 cents per gallon. Both gas tax increases raised the states gas and diesel fuel taxes to a whopping 26.3 cents per gallon! And lest we forget that the powers that be then apply a 6% state sales tax AFTER the per gallon taxes are added. Ultimately we are being taxed on a tax!
    And if that wasn’t enough, the state “protected” itself from inflation by writing into the road funding bill protections against “inflation”. Protections that allow the state to annually increase fuel taxes by 5%, or by the inflation rate, whichever is less.

    The only “oasis” the township will be creating with this road tax hike proposal is an oasis that will tax seniors on fixed incomes out of their homes. It’s a bad idea…No thanks

    Reply

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