The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) on Thursday (Sept. 20) approved the agency’s fiscal year 2019 budget.
The $155.3 million budget represents an increase of about $8.4 million compared to the $146.9 million 2018 budget adopted in September of last year. The 2019 budget increased primarily due to an anticipated increase in state road funding.
RCOC anticipates slightly more than $102 million in state road funding in fiscal year 2019, compared to just over $88 million received in the current year. State road funding is derived primarily from state-collected fuel taxes and vehicle-registration fees.
These state dollars continue to 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 which took effect in January 2017 and is being phased in through 2021.
The budget includes a slight decrease in federal funds. Because federal road funds are awarded on a project-by-project basis, 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.
The 2019 budget includes nearly $48 million for road-improvement projects (though the projects planned to be under construction this year will cost a total of approximately $65 million to complete -- some of these costs were included in last year’s budget or will be included in the 2020 budget where projects are carried over from last year or expected to be carried over into 2020); $38.5 million for road maintenance efforts such as pothole patching, gravel road grading and salting and plowing in the winter; and $13.6 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.
RCOC’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
Among the planned projects identified in the 2019 budget are:
Complete the widening and reconstruction of Baldwin Road between Morgan and Waldon roads in Orion Twp. (continuation of project started in 2017)
Construct a roundabout at Middlebelt and Maple roads in West Bloomfield Twp.
Reconstruct Livernois Road from Avon to north of Walton Blvd. in Rochester Hills
Pave Dixboro Road from 8 Mile to 9 Mile (currently gravel) on the Lyon Twp./South Lyon/Green Oak Twp. border
The budget is posted on the RCOC Website, www.rcocweb.org (click on the “About Us” tab at the top of the home page, then select the “Publications” item from the pull-down menu and scroll to “RCOC Financial Documents”).