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Safety path millage rate maintains current paths



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Brandon Wyke cleans two of the safety path mowers outside the Facilities and Maintenance building with the power washer. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
October 12, 2011 - Almost a quarter million a year sounds like a decent chunk of change, but it's not much to Department of Public Works Director Linda Richardson.

"Right now what we bring in covers operating and then a little bit can go into the fund balance," Richardson said. "Some of that also goes towards engineer and labor costs."

The current .2023 Safety Path Millage collects $272,513 a year.

The township paid $14,741 between Jan. 1-Oct. 4 to safety path engineers Hubble Roth & Clark. They also paid $66,799.50 for both full-time part-time wages in 2010.

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Over 40 miles of safety path is a lot for one full-time employee and three part-timers to maintain, noted Richardson.

Safety Path Superintendent Kevin Daniels agreed.

"People think we just mow and weed whip," Daniels said. "It's so much more than that."

Other duties include cutting brush, clearing fallen trees, dealing with day to day complaints, disposing of debris such as broken bottles, and sweeping the paths with the Bob Cat power broom.

Daniels noted his department is responsible for mowing the median down Sashabaw Road, which he said is "intense." He also said he and his staff clean and prep all equipment and trucks for the next day's work.

"My part-time help, Brandon Wyke, Lindsay Sawyer, and Trevor Rigney are all local people and they are the best I've had," Daniels said. "They are responsible and care about what they do."

Daniels also meets with contractors and engineers on site.

At the end of 2010 the safety path fund balance was $1,128,000.

Richardson said part of this money went to projects to hopefully be done this year, including M-15/Hubbard Road to Deer Ridge Drive at a cost of $35,000, with a 20 percent contingency. The second project is Sashabaw Road at I-75 to Clarkston Road, total cost $350,000.

"After this project, we'll go into maintenance mode, which is fine," she said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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