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New road funding in Governor Snyder’s budget proposal

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MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Governor Rick Snyder’s 2018 budget proposal includes hundreds of millions of dollars to address Michigan’s deteriorating infrastructure.

A large portion of that money will focus on the crumbling roads.

Part of the governor’s proposal recommends a 214 million dollar increase for state and local roads.

One Calhoun County Commissioner tells Newschannel 3 that while that sounds like a lot, it’s tough when you take that money and divide by 83 counties.

It’s no surprise that Michigan’s roads are rough. In its most recent report the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state’s roads a D grade.

Governor Snyder’s budget proposal puts a strong emphasis on infrastructure, including a $214.3 million increase for state and local roads.

“The 214 million dollars seems like a lot of money, but some of the estimates just here in Calhoun County far exceed 200 million to fix our road system here,” said Calhoun County Commissioner Derek King.

King says he’s pleased to see more money being allocated to infrastructure, but says the number amounts to a drop in the bucket when divided among Michigan’s counties.

King says it’s important to point out that the proposal may help local roads, but not in the way you think.

“In the proposal it says local roads,” said King. “What needs to be heard is local roads to the state is roads other than their road system. Local roads to counties are local roads which fall under Act 51, which require a match.”

Act 51 is the state formula to fund roads in counties and cities.

“Really, what the 214 million will do is it will help with offsetting some of the costs on primary roads,” said King, “no different than the new gas tax and registration fees do. Which, in turn, will allow more money to be funneled to local roads, but there’s still a law that has to be followed by road agencies in funding local roads.”

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The governor has recommended another 15 million for transit and rail programs.

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