Lodi Township voters to decide road proposal

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Brassow Road is one Lodi Township road that could see improvements if the road proposal is approved by voters.

Lodi Township is looking to its residents for some help in fixing roads.

One question on the Nov. 3 ballot for Lodi Township voters is a proposal asking for a 1-mill tax increase for road improvements and maintenance.

In giving some background on the proposal, Lodi Township Supervisor Jan Godek said the road millage is new.

“In response to the number of complaints we receive regarding roads, the Township board discussed various ways to maintain and improve the local public road system,” Godek said. “Townships have been given the ability by the State of Michigan to impose a Township-wide Special Assessment District (SAD) for road maintenance and improvement, but the Board felt strongly that our residents should decide if they were willing to help pay for improving local roads.”

Godek said the cost of road maintenance and improvement is very difficult for a small township with a township tax of less than 1 mill.

For instance, according to Godek, a per mile cost to:
Pulverize and resurface a road in poor condition, starts at $350,000
Mill and resurface a road in fair condition, starts at $180,000
Seal-coat, also known as chip-seal a road in good condition starts at $23,000
Limestone resurfacing a dirt road, starts at $65,000

And she said these cost don't always reflect other activities associated with a road project like drainage, tree removal and ditching and engineering.

Of the 20 townships in Washtenaw County, Godek said Lodi Township is third highest per capita in the county for money spent on roads.

If approved, the one mill would generate $455,875 in the first year.

It’s estimated it would cost a township homeowner $100 a year who has a home with a $200,000 market value and $100,000 taxable value.

Looking ahead, one big question is what happens if the millage fails?

Godek said the township, “will continue to invest money in the roads as is possible, anywhere from $175,000 to over $200,000 depending on each year's budget”

“We have taken money from Fund Balance in the past, but can't continue to take these funds,” she said. “Lodi Township has 43 miles of unpaved public roads and 23 miles of paved public roads to maintain. Dust control on the unpaved roads averages shy of $50,000/year.”

If approved by voters, Godek said, “some of the first projects would include: pulverizing and resurfacing Brassow and the paved portion of Weber, although due to the cost of both of those projects, they will each be separate two year projects.”

Improving Brassow is over $415,000 and Weber over $390,000, according to Godek.

“Funds will be also used on other roads during these projects,” Godek said. “Over the five year period of the millage, improvements would be made to as many roads as possible.”

So now the decision is in the hands of Lodi Township voters. The Nov. 3 vote will determine a lot for the future of road work in Lodi.

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