Pittsfield Township is considering bonding for millions of dollars to maintain neighborhood roads the county will no longer maintain.
According to Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal, a thorough assessment of the township’s roads identified $10 million in needed improvements. That includes $8.4 million on local neighborhood roads.
“The goal is to very carefully and thoughtfully put in to place repairs that will hold up for the longer term, using existing monies we pay the road commission to instead repay the bond,” Grewal said. “Above and beyond that it is my hope we can set aside additional monies in a road maintenance fund so that 10 years from now, when these roads we are repairing now are in need of maintenance, we already have a fund balance to pay for continued maintenance.”
The program would improve all public local roads with a PASER rating of less than six. Roads with a PASER rating of 1-3 are considered poor. Roads with a paser rating of 4-6 are considered fair.
The township has divided the roadwork into seven different sections. (See four of the sections in the map above. Click on the map for full resolution. Red=poor, Yellow=fair, Green=good).
Grewal said the Washtenaw County Road Commission has stopped maintaining local residential roads. When the township began paying the county for maintenance, township officials soon began hearing from residents who were dissatisfied with the quality of the work. She cited neighbors complaining about the recent chip seal project on Silver Spring Drive in the Boulder Ridge subdivision not even two years after it was complete.
The township has paid the county more than $800,000 annually for the work. Grewal said the township would be better served by doing their own comprehensive road improvement project and then paying it off with that same $800,000.
Since the road commission no longer accepts public roads all new residential development roads are being designated as private. The township now requires developers to start building a fund to pay for future maintenance of the roads.
Should the township proceed the board will need to decide how it will phase the work and the most efficient manner of bonding. Once the board approves a resolution to go forward with the bond the township will publish an advertisement in local newspaper. Residents will have up to 45 days to collect signatures and put the bond a ballot for approval by township voters. If not, the township can begin the bond process.