BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
With April showers and May flowers comes the spring bounty of potholes.
According to residents posting on social media, Snow Apple Drive and Parview Drive are the two worst roads in the Clarkston area.
Pat Kittle, Independence Township Supervisor, said the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) doesn’t have enough resources for subdivision roads like Snow Apple and Parview, and they can only be redone if local residents band together and pay for it.
“We’ve got a bunch of secondary neighborhood streets that I don’t know if they’ll ever be enough money,” Kittle said. “That’s why we put together the neighborhood road incentives.”
“We don’t pay for subdivision road resurfacing,” said Craig Bryson, RCOC senior manager of communications.
Residents can create a special assessment district, working with the county, Bryson said.
“We will work with them. Ultimately, they will pay for it through a special tax assessment levied over 10 years and they have to get 51 percent of the property owners in the subdivision to agree,” he said.
The RCOC will then design the road, hire a contractor, and assess property taxes to pay for the project, Bryson said. Kittle said if a neighborhood wants to create a special assessment district, the township will provide up to $20,000 to help with the road project.
The township receives information from the road commission about what roads need attention the most, then Kittle reviews the information and either signs off on it or tweaks the plans.
“They’ve been very good at setting priorities in terms of where are we going to get the best bang for our buck,” Kittle said. “It’s a tough decision. I just wish there was enough money to go around to fix it all.”
Other than that, there’s not much the township can do, the supervisor said.
“We don’t pay for roads,” Kittle said. “That’s the responsibility of RCOC, there are times that we will partner with them. For example, like on the North Sashabaw stretch between 1-75 and Clarkston Road; cost of that project is going to be about $5,000,000 all said and done, you know, but there’s a myriad of sources of funds there.”
Two major township roads are slotted to be repaired. Maybee Road between Marvin and Clintonville will be milled and given an asphalt cap during the week of April 24, 2017, Bryson said.
They will also be doing work on Sashabaw Road between Maybee and Waldon, replacing some bad concrete slabs with new ones.
“I would say that by far that stretch of Maybee is the worst in the township when it comes to paved roads, so, I’m hopeful that the money will continue to come in from the state,” Kittle said. “I hope that we get our fair share so that our residents can drive without worrying about blowing a tire in a pothole.”
Treasurer Paul Brown said large recycling and waste trucks are significant contributors to the bad conditions of subdivision roads. Neighborhood residents use several different waste services, as opposed to one, and those heavy weight trucks leave the roads worse-for-wear.
Primary roads are often where the RCOC puts the biggest emphasis, Kittle said. Roads such as Clarkston, Waldon, Maybee and Clintonville.
“It seems like the state legislature has taken some actions recently that over the course of two or three years there should start to be some funds coming in that will allow the RCOC to do their job,” he said. “Hopefully now with some of these additional state funds coming in, the road commission can get ahead of the curve a little.”