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Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Managing Director Dennis Kolar praised the voters in seven Oakland County communities who stepped up on Nov. 6 when they approved property tax millages to support roads.
The communities are: Independence Township, Berkley, Milford, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Huntington Woods and Northville (partially in Wayne County).
"I applaud each of these communities -- and those that have previously approved road millages," Kolar stated. "The leaders and voters in these communities acknowledged the magnitude of the road problem and took it upon themselves to do something about it. They are taking some ownership of the solution to our roads problem which was caused by years of inadequate road funding, and I commend them for this."
In particular, Kolar praised Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle and the voters of that township who approved a tax increase of up to two mills for four years for roads. "That makes Independence Township only the second township in Oakland County with a millage for roads," Kolar noted. Bloomfield Township has a one-mill levy that is required under a state law that allows the township to maintain local roads within its borders.
"A lot of people complain about the roads. It’s harder to do something about them," Kolar said. "The leaders and voters of these communities did something, knowing it would cost them a little money out of their own pockets. The rest of us who use those roads owe them a debt of gratitude."
Independence Township's millage will allow for the resurfacing of all main roads within the township during the coming four years. "I think that's a pretty good return on a two-mill-a-year investment," Kolar said.
He noted the township’s millage is unique, because townships, according to Michigan law, do not have jurisdiction over roads. That means the money raised by the millage will be used to improve roads under the jurisdiction of the Road Commission.
“This is truly a partnership,” Kolar said. “The Road Commission will provide the design and inspection functions for these projects at no cost, and the township millage revenues will cover the cost of the contractor paving. It’s a win/win situation.”