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The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) approved its Fiscal Year 2017 budget at its regular meeting today, Thursday, Sept. 22.The budget represents an increase of about $25 million compared to the $104 million 2016 budget. The 2017 budget increased primarily due to an anticipated increase in state and federal road funding. Federal funds are awarded on a project-by-project basis, and the amount RCOC receives tends to fluctuate from year to year. These funds can be used only for heavy construction projects and not for routine maintenance activities such as pothole patching, grading gravel roads, plowing, etc. RCOC anticipates slightly more than $78 million in state road funding, compared to just over $63 million received in the current year. State road funding is derived primarily from state-collected fuel taxes and vehicle-registration fees. These state dollars represent RCOC’s largest source of funding and its main funding source for operations. The anticipated increase is the result of the increased road funding package enacted by the state Legislature in late 2015, but which will begin to take effect in January 2017.The 2017 budget includes plans for approximately $64 million worth of road improvement projects such as road widenings, reconstructions, resurfacings and gravel road paving or work toward future road-improvement projects; nearly $29.6 million for road maintenance efforts such as pothole patching, gravel road grading and salting and plowing in the winter; and nearly $11.2 million for maintaining traffic signs, signals, pavement markings and guardrails among other activities. The remainder of the budget is earmarked for operating expenses including customer services, vehicle maintenance, staff wages, buildings and grounds and administration. RCOC’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. The budget was presented at a public hearing Aug. 25. Among the road projects planned for 2017 are: - Widen and reconstruct Baldwin Road between Morgan and Gregory roads in Orion Twp. - Widen and reconstruct Dequindre Road between Long Lake and Burningbush Street on the Troy/Sterling Heights border. - Reconstruct Orchard Lake Road as a four-lane boulevard between Northwestern Highway and Maple Road in West Bloomfield Twp. - Reconstruct Lahser Road between Civic Center Drive and the Lodge freeway (M-10) in Southfield. A complete list of projects expected to be constructed in 2017 is attached (see page 3 on link below).