Applause and shouts of “thank you” from residents in the audience followed the Macomb Township board of trustees’ decision Wednesday to pave sections of Fairchild, 22 Mile and 24 Mile roads as soon as possible.
This $3.8 million decision was prompted by recommendations from the , a group of township officials and residents established to prioritize the township’s road paving needs.
“I am elated,” said Al Pauli, who lives at 22 Mile and Fairchild. “You wouldn’t believe how much of a relief this is for me.”
Pauli’s section of Fairchild and 22 Mile Road will be paved along with portions of Fairchild north of 21 Mile and 24 Mile east of North Avenue at some future date.
Township to cover total cost up front
Because the chosen sections are county roads, the Macomb County Department of Roads would typically cover 40 percent of the overall cost of paving. However, because the county operates on a two-year allocation cycle and has already set its projects for the immediate future, Macomb Township will cover the total cost of the project with the assurance that the Department of Roads will provide future reimbursement.
Up front, Macomb Township will pay $3,830,089 to pave all three sections of road, with the Department of Roads eventually reimbursing the township for its share, around $1.5 million.
Treasurer Karen Goodhue, who served on the Road Paving Committee, said funding for these projects would come from three sources, the municipal street fund, public improvement fund and general fund for 2012-13.
- Municipal Street Fund: $364,118,
- Public Improvement Fund: $3,000,739
- General Fund: $465,231
The $465,231 will be taken from the general fund in the 2012-13 budget, which should contain around $29 million as of June 30.
“In looking how to pay for this, we did find in our financial report that we do have a public improvement account, (in which) monies were set aside in that account for future public improvements,” Goodhue said. “We feel that this is a good project to put those monies toward.”
Construction won't start immediately
While there is no set start time for these projects to get underway, Trustee Nancy Nevers, who also served on the Road Paving Committee, said it is “possible” the Fairchild and 22 Mile Road segment will be paved in 2012. It is, however, more likely the majority of construction will be done in 2013.
“There’s lot more to it than just laying down asphalt,” Goodhue said. “(The county is) willing to do it as quickly as they can.”
For 24 Mile Road resident Lori Scharich, it was enough to finally hear a guarantee that her section of road would be paved.
“It was a great process, it worked well and we’re thrilled that it followed the due process,” she said, or her work with the paving committee. “(The board) fairly represented (our situation), looked at everything and took in our considerations, so we’re very happy. I don’t think any of us thought that we could do this by pulling us together as an organized group, but we did.”
During the three meetings of the Road Paving Committee, members worked to research and prioritize the paving needs for Macomb Township’s remaining 13 miles of dirt and gravel roads.
The committee recommended the following segments for future projects:
- 24 Mile Road west of Foss Road
- Luchtman Road
- Fairchild Road south of Hagen road
- Omo Road
- Hayes Road north of 25 Mile Road
- Card Road north of 24 Mile Road