Saugatuck Township Voters Will Be Asked To Renew Road Millage
The Saugatuck Township electorate will be asked to renew a 1-mill tax levy for road maintenance and improvements on the May 6 ballot. The township board approved the request early this month.
“We are in the process of putting together a schedule for a 10-year plan,” said Saugatuck Township Clerk Brad Rudich.
The millage request is one of many road-related developments happening within the township this year. Responsible for the primary roads within Allegan County, the Allegan County Road Commission will be conducting major work, milling and resurfacing on Blue Star Highway while the township expects to do relatively minor work, including some resurfacing on 134th Avenue and basic gravel road maintenance treatments on other roads.
“It (Blue Star Highway) sees a lot of traffic in this section,” said Saugatuck Township Manager Aaron Sheridan in his brief report at the February township board meeting.
The township has two existing tax levies for road maintenance and improvements: one was renewed in the August primary last year while the other is soon to expire and for which the proposed request is meant to replace, and is expected to raise $134,000 if adopted by local taxpayers.
The county receives revenues from a combination of the Michigan Transportation Fund (from fuel tax and vehicle registration) as well as additional state and federal matching funds.
As for local road funding, Sheridan noted: “Local millages like ours are adopted by voters to help local roads and large culverts that deteriorate and fail.
“This funding source is the only reliable means of sustaining our local road system and prevents closures and detours that obstruct public use over periods of years in other municipalities during the costly event of a large culvert failure or washout. The township …anticipates renewal from voters in the May election period.”
The 2014 local projects include the resurfacing of 134th Avenue from Blue Star Highway east to end of the road; the application of dust control (calcium chloride) to specified portions at Dugout Road, 60th Street, River Road and 126th Avenue, and finally, mowing throughout local roads to clear driver sightlines.
The county’s work at Blue Star Highway is meant to prepare the surface - between I-196 at Exit 41 and Maple Street at the City of Saugatuck boundary - for the first phase of a two-year project. This year involves joint repair and milling of asphalt. Next year involves smoothing and leveling as part of a complete resurfacing.
The county also plans, contingent on bid prices, for a fog and chip seal application on 66th Street from City of Douglas’ boundary to M-89.