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Guest Viewpoint

Ramp not top priority, reader says

April 02, 2014 - By Mark Petterson

A new ramp should be furthest from the townships mind.

Independence Township has sat on Tri- party funds now for years and every year the township gets a letter from the road commission telling them to use it or lose it. Every year the township comes up with some wild unaffordable concept in order to delay the threat.

The township says the ramp idea is a free study from the township engineers, however, as we taxpayers know, nothing in life is for free. You, too, would do a study if you stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars for engineering and construction over site.

The time is now for the township board to unleash taxpayers' tri-party money and repair the roads they have. Our roads' poor conditions are not the fault of the road commission, rather the fault of the township board. The commission has for years provided funds to repair roads and the township board refuses to use said funds for what the township feels is the county's problem. Ultimately denying the taxpayers good safe roads and saving the money for pet projects like new construction that we can't afford to maintain.

The township has been sitting on millions of taxpayer dollars for years as our roads crumble and now coming up with some grand unaffordable concept, a pressure release valve off Clintonville Road, is at best a complete disregard for the long term infrastructure of the township.

Pine Knob traffic is nothing new, especially to long time residents of the township. At least four board members live close to the Sashabaw and Clintonville corridor. The board already has a majority.

So, what about the rest of the township? Waldon Road west of Sashabaw to downtown, Maybee east of Sashabaw, Maybee at Spring to Lake just past Birdland, Sashabaw north of Clarkston Road to Oakhill, Parview. And let us not forget the Allen, Rattalee, Ellis, Hubbard, Cranberry, Perry Lake north and south, Hadley, Shoup, dirt roads that need gravel. Those residents don't matter, right?

The fact is the hospital on Sashabaw Road, after losing in court, is not coming any time soon, so saying we need tri-party funds to add a lane to the bridge, create a round about at Sashabaw and Waldon, extra on and off ramps for I-75 at Sashabaw, would be putting taxpayers on the hook for something the hospital should be paying for. Taxpayers have already done our share. I strongly suggest they band together and demand their portion before the township runs out and spends their money. The uncrossable crosswalks on Sashabaw and streetlight costs should be the only upgrades the township concerns itself with.

We taxpayers are simply tired of our tax monies being redirected. We have spent millions on Sashabaw Road. The answer is simple, remove the Corridor Improvement Authority,return all CIA captures to the departments as promised, lower our millages in the amount they were raised to off set the loss of capture. Redirected funds from the fire department mill to fund sidewalks? To be sure, a well funded sidewalk is more important than new breathing tanks for those who save our lives. To the Township Board, get your priorities straight, remove your death grip on the tri-party funds, and fix the roads you have, and do it expeditiously, or you all may be the next meal in the Year of the Wolf.

Mark A Petterson is a former Independence Township trustee

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