BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Calhoun County Commissioner Gary Tompkins, R-Albion, said Tuesday he believes he’s created a plan that will more fairly distribute road work funding in Michigan.
Tompkins said he created a new formula for distributing money out of the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF).
He said under the current distribution formula, “we’re still dealing with the same problems we were 50 years ago.”
He said the current way money for road work is distributed leaves rural communities without the proper funding to fix their roads.
He said his funding plan is “more fair because it takes away pitting urban versus rural, it gets everybody the money they need based on the amount of road miles they have in their particular community.”
Tompkins said in the 2017-2018 fiscal budget, the MTF would divvy up $2.367 billion in road money by giving 39.1% to the Michigan Department of Transportation, 39.1% to county road commissions, and 21.8% to cities and villages.
In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, that meant MDOT received $936.1 million, counties received $910.4 million, and cities & villages received $520.5 million, all according to Tompkins.
He said he has tried to get an audience with state leaders to show them his new formula, which would give MDOT 22.34%, cities and villages 23.40%, and counties 54.26% of the pie.
He said the new percentages more fairly distribute the money since he said MDOT oversees 8% of the state’s roads, whereas counties oversee nearly 70% of them.
“Everybody still gets their amount they need, however I’m putting it in places where actually it can be utilized and where it’s more fair to everybody,” Tompkins said.
He said despite attempts to speak to state representatives with whom he’d like to share his plan, he doesn’t seem to “move the meter.” He said state representatives who have spoken with him don’t seem to take him seriously.
“Several of them to no avail unfortunately, and I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I’m hoping somebody will finally take the opportunity to take a serious look at it,” he said.
Newschannel 3 reached out to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office and state Republican leaders to see if anyone heard about the Tompkins plan, but had not heard back at the time of publishing.