The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will present its proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget at a public hearing Thursday, Aug. 17, at 9:30 a.m. at the RCOC administrative offices, 31001 Lahser Road in Beverly Hills (at the corner of 13 Mile Road and Lahser Road).
The public is invited to attend the hearing and offer input on the proposed budget. RCOC’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Adoption of the budget is expected to take place at the regular RCOC Board meeting on Sept. 21.
The proposed budget, at $193.9 million, represents about a $15.8 million increase from the current year’s budget of $178.1 million adopted in September of last year. The 2024 proposed budget increased primarily due to increases in federal road funds and increased interest earned.
The federal funding level fluctuates from year to year depending on the type and number of projects conducted. The interest revenue fluctuates based on the amount of money held by the agency at any time and the interest rates available. RCOC anticipates receiving $39.1 million in federal funding in FY 2024 (compared to $27 million for the current year) and $1.9 million in interest revenue (compared to $525,000 for the current year).
RCOC anticipates no increase for the coming year in its largest source of revenue – state road funds generated by the state fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and the state income tax. The agency expects to receive about $122.3 million in state road funding in fiscal year 2024, the same as it received in the current year.
The state dollars are RCOC’s main funding source for operations.
The remaining revenue making up the budget comes from local community contributions ($10.8 million – down from $13.2 million in the current year), RCOC’s contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to maintain state highways in the county ($14 million, up from $12.5 million for the current year) and fees and other revenues ($2.6 million, about the same as received for the current year).
The proposed 2024 budget includes nearly $70 million in annual contributions toward safety-focused road-improvement projects planned to be under construction in 2024 and future years (this is not the total cost for these projects -- some costs were included in the current year’s budget or will be included in the 2025 budget where projects are carried over from last year or expected to be carried over into 2025); $38.7 million for road maintenance efforts such as pothole patching, gravel road grading and salting and plowing in the winter; and $17.3 million for maintaining traffic signs, signals, pavement markings and guardrails among other activities.
The remainder of the budget is dedicated to operating expenses including customer services, vehicle maintenance, staff wages, buildings and grounds and administration.
“This is a very sound budget,” reported RCOC Board Chair Andrea LaLonde. “We remain very careful about how we use the revenue we receive, making sure that we can do the most to improve the road system in the most cost-effective and efficient manner,” LaLonde added.
RCOC Vice Chair Nancy Quarles concurred. “We operate in a fiscally responsible manner,” she explained. “But, like everyone else, we continue to deal with the impacts of inflation,” she stated. “Unfortunately, our dollars simply are not going as far as they used to, with road project prices jumping significantly in the last year and the cost of everything rising dramatically.”
Board Member Eric McPherson added the Board is very deliberate in how it spends the money it receives. “We recognize that our revenue is derived from the state-collected fuel taxes, vehicle-registration fees and income tax dollars,” he explained. “We are always conscious that we are spending the public’s money and always want to make sure that we get the biggest return for those dollars on behalf of the residents and businesses that pay those taxes.”
Managing Director Dennis Kolar agreed. “Safety is always our top priority,” Kolar said. “And this budget reflects that.”
During the public hearing, RCOC Deputy Managing Director/County Highway Engineer Gary Piotrowicz will provide an overview of the proposed 2024 Road Improvement Program (RIP) which includes next year’s road-construction projects. Among the planned projects are:
- Construction of a roundabout at the Baldwin Road/Clarkston Road intersection in Orion Twp.
- Major resurfacing of Brown, Giddings and Silver Bell roads around the GM Orion Plant in Orion Twp. and Auburn Hills
- Major resurfacing of Southfield Road from 11 Mile to 12 Mile in Lathrup Village
- Replacement of the Pontiac Lake Road bridge over the Clinton River in Waterford Twp.
A complete list of projects expected to be constructed in 2024 is attached. Projects are typically selected based on a detailed, computerized road-assessment program combined with engineers’ analysis and a review of safety data. The decisions are often made years before construction begins because of funding requirements.
“RCOC continues to improve the safety and condition of our roads throughout Oakland County,” Managing Director Kolar said. “We know that many roads still need improvement and appreciate the patience of our citizens and businesses as we continue to work through a very long needs list with the available funding.”
The proposed budget is posted on the RCOC Website, www.rcocweb.org (click on the “Financials” button on the home page, select “Budget Summary” and click on “Proposed 2023-24 Budget”).
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Editor’s Note: The list of anticipated projects to be constructed in 2024 and a summary of proposed revenues and expenses are attached.
PROPOSED 2024 BUDGET
October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024
- State fuel tax, vehicle-registration fees and state General Fund $122,268,889
- State highway-maintenance contract $ 13,985,000
- Michigan Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) $ 3,165,000
- Federal funding-Road Improvement Program (RIP) $ 36,082,500
- Federal funding-signal projects $ 560,000
- Federal funding-Traffic Operations Center operations $ 2,320,000
- Federal funding-Medicare Part D $ 200,000
- Contributions from local governments $ 10,837,500
- Fees and other revenues $ 4,515,522
- Appropriation from fund balance $ 0
Total Revenues $193,934,411
- Road Improvement Program (RIP) $ 70,040,000
- Operating expenditures $120,394,411
- Traffic-signal projects $ 1,000,000
- Special Assessment District projects (contractor payments) $ 2,500,000
Total expenses $193,934,411
2024 RCOC Road Improvement Program (RIP)
This list includes projects expected to be constructed in 2024.
- Brown, Giddings and Silver Bell roads, Jamm Road to M-24 in Orion Twp. $ 17 million
- Dequindre Road, Hamlin Road to 24 Mile Road on the Shelby Twp./Rochester Hills border (this project will be conducted by the Great Lakes Water Authority as part of its ongoing water main replacement project). GLWA is paying the majority of the cost. $ 1.5 million
Repair, Rehabilitate & Resurface (repair road base and add 3 to 4 inches of new asphalt)
- Southfield Road, 11 Mile to 12 Mile in Lathrup Village $ 5.3 million
- 12 Mile Road, Autumn Ridge to Inkster in Farmington Hills $ 3 million
- 12 Mile Road, Northwestern Highway to Telegraph Road in Southfield $ 3.5 million
- Walton Boulevard, Adams to Livernois in Rochester Hills $ 7 million
- County Center Drive from Telegraph to east of Hospital Drive in Pontiac $ 1.5 million
Concrete Slab Repair/Replacement
- 10 Mile Road, Evergreen to Greenfield in Southfield $ 3 million
- Baldwin Road at Clarkston Road in Orion Twp. (roundabout construction) $ 2 million
- Avon bridge over the Clinton River in Rochester Hills (preventive maintenance) $ 220,000
- Livernois Road over the Clinton River in Rochester Hills (preventative maintenance) $ 220,000
- Pontiac Lake Road over the Clinton River in Waterford Twp. (bridge replacement) $ 3 million
- Farr Road over the Huron River in Commerce Twp. (bridge replacement) $ 2.5 million
- 11 Mile Road over the Novi-Lyon Drain in Lyon Twp. (bridge replacement) $ 2.3 million
- Indianwood Road over Lake Orion in Orion Twp. (replacement) $ 975,000
- Eastways Road over a tributary to the Rouge River in Bloomfield Hills (replacement) $ 875,000
- Long Lake Road over a tributary to the Rouge River in Bloomfield Hills (replacement) $ 5 million
- Haggerty Road over the Seeley Drain on the Farmington Hills/Novi border (replacement) $ 1 million
- Cedar Shores Road over the Cedar Lake Canal in White Lake Twp. (culvert lining) $ 875,000
- South Commerce Road over tributary to the Huron River in Commerce Twp. (replace) $ 850,000
Gravel Road Paving
- Waldon Road, Clintonville to Baldwin in Independence & Orion twps. (continuation of project begun in 2023 – total project cost is $15 million) $ 7.5 million
Projects carried over from 2023
- Middlebelt Road over the Shiawassee Drain in Farmington Hills (culvert replacement) $ 500,000
Total annual contributions for projects to be constructed in 2024: $65,115,000
(Press release link with attachments: https://www.rcocweb.org/DocumentCenter/View/11801/2024-Budget-hearing-2)