Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
Monica Ware, County Road Association of Michigan, 517.749.2322, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Ericson, Michigan Association of Counties, 517.372.5374, Ericson@micounties.org
John LaMacchia, Michigan Municipal League, 517.903.0303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13. 2014
Legislature approves funds to patch the potholes winter has left in road agency budgets
LANSING, Michigan – In recognition of the massive needs facing state and local road agencies after an extremely harsh winter, the Michigan Legislature approved $215 million in one-time revenue to help MDOT and local road agencies patch the potholes in their budgets. The County Road Association of Michigan, Michigan Association of Counties and Michigan Municipal League applaud the legislature for their action.
“Everyone knows this has been a difficult winter, but the real story is the cuts that would have to be made to summer road work if the legislature hadn’t provided the additional revenue,” Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association of Michigan said. “We know that every dollar spent today to preserve our roads will save us $6 to $14 later as that road continues to deteriorate.”
The legislature was clear that the special appropriation is both to help offset winter expenses and to ensure that Michigan residents are able to see the kind of priority projects that make a difference. By providing $100 million of the funding direct to road agencies to offset winter maintenance costs, residents can start to see the impact as soon as the snow thaws.
“These additional road funding dollars will provide immediate and much needed relief to our communities that have been hard hit by this year’s winter,” said John LaMacchia, Legislative Associate for the Michigan Municipal League. We are appreciative of the legislature’s effort to deliver a short-term solution to cities and villages throughout Michigan and are hopeful that they will now turn their attention to finding a long-term solution for the transportation needs of this state.”
The remaining $115 million in one-time revenue appropriated from the Roads, Risk and Reserve Fund was directed to special projects that will have to go through a formal bid letting process before work can be completed. This revenue will be appropriated on a project-by-project basis by the legislature, so many road agencies will not receive funding for a project under this program.
“Our roads are literally pulverizing themselves this spring,” Donohue said. “We commend the legislature for this solution that addresses priority projects while ensuring that all agencies can do more than patch potholes this construction season.”
While the one-time funding will take some pressure off this year’s budgets, the groups were careful to point out that Michigan still needs a long-term solution – at least $2.5 billion in new revenue annually – to resolve Michigan’s road funding crisis.
“The additional funding will go a long way in helping county road agencies with the growing pothole problem,” said M.A.C. Deputy Director, Steve Currie. “We applaud the legislature for providing supplemental funding; however, we do not want to lose sight of the fact Michigan’s infrastructure needs a long-term solution. We look forward to working with the governor and legislature in finding that answer.”
Local Roads Matter is a coalition of groups and individuals that recognize our local roads and bridges are critical to business and economic development, schools and families, public safety and health care, agriculture and tourism, and to every Michigan resident. To learn more visit milocalroads.com.
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.