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State finds extra cash for roads



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March 19, 2014 - At least two local communities will have more money to rectify serious road issues after a brutal winter.

The Village of Goodrich will receive $7,299 while Ortonville will get $6,007—their share of $100 million for emergency pothole repair and spring maintenance, the first step in finding a long-term solution to Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges say state lawmakers.

On March 12, both the House and Senate OK'd the emergency budget supplemental, which in addition to the emergency funds also includes $115 million for priority road projects across the state.

"We realize that this brutal winter has put an incredible strain on local governments, and this budget bill will help them with filling potholes and other spring maintenance," said Joe Graves, state representative 51st district.

"The bill included $115 million for specific priority road projects throughout the state as well, and those projects will be identified after meetings with the Michigan Department of Transportation. Last year the same fund paid for nearly $2.5 million in improvements in the 51st House District."

Genesee County will receive $2,010,526, with the county road commission receiving $1,345,161 of that total. A portion will be used in Atlas Township.

"It's been a bad winter and the extra money will help with some of the costs," said Jakki Sidge, Goodrich village administator. "The amount Goodrich receives is based on the road miles and population."

Oakland County will receive a total of $6,861,423, with $3,861,457 dedicated to the county road commission, and $2,999,966 going to local governments.

Groveland and Brandon townships will receive a portion of the Oakland County funds.

The legislature already allocated $115 million in grants for road and bridge improvement projects throughout Michigan in the current fiscal year, which were announced last December. The legislature created the special fund using existing state revenue.

"The legislature has been fiscally responsible for the past four years and has been able to put money away for road and bridge repair and key road improvement projects," Graves said. "This is a good first step as we search for a sustainable funding formula to maintain the state's transportation system."

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