Township gravel purchase raises road maintenance questions

Now that the township has taken upon itself to provide more tax dollars to re-gravel and maintain residential gravel roads within the township, many area residents will want more information about how township trustees developed an equitable, strategic plan for selecting the specific roads to be enhanced and how they were selected for funding. (“Independence Twp. Board approves additional $50,000 for gravel road maintenance,” Clarkston News, March 13.) From what other public needs were the funds diverted for this purpose. While the relatively low-use gravel roads may likely service some of the area’s most expensive real estate, other area residents will likely want to know more about what the township is doing to address the deterioration of several high-use paved “residential” streets in the township which have become major traffic conduits serving all drivers outside their neighborhoods, and are crumbling from the volume of traffic and government failure to stringently enforce weight limits for commercial vehicles.
The time has come to address the county’s archaic and inefficient road maintenance funding policies to facilitate a strategic plan to fix and maintain all public traffic conduits. The allocation of public funds to maintain a few local gravel roads may be helpful to some, but the focus of local trustees should be a strategic effort to work with other townships to guide the county toward a more practical and equitable road funding plan. In the interim, it seems reasonable to require home sellers to disclose to unsuspecting home buyers the county’s unique road funding policy.

Mike Fetzer
Clarkston, MI

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