Voters to decide fate of crumbling roads in Spring Arbor

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SPRING ARBOR, Mich. (WLNS) – Fixing crumbling roads is a challenge communities all over mid-Michigan are faced with.

A township in Jackson County could find help when voters go to the polls in the upcoming May election.

6 News looked into this issue in Spring Arbor where a big road millage is on the ballot.

Drive around any neighborhood in the township and you’re sure to find bumpy roads full of potholes and chunks of the roadway coming up.

It’s something that Linda Folkler and other residents are fed up with.

“They are nasty! Very, very nasty, and dangerous,” Folkler said.

Township Supervisor David Herlein says changes to state funding and how roads are repaired has created this dire situation.

“Our roads have deteriorated to the point where they’re almost at complete failure,” Herlein said.

The township has crafted a 15 year millage that will go before voters on the May ballot.

It would raise $8,610,000  to replace all of the township’s residential streets.

The overall cost of the project is projected to be $11, 760,000.

$3.5 million is expected to be subtracted from the cost due to funds coming from Jackson County.

Herlein says the project would replace more than 49 miles of roadway over several years.

“So if you have a taxable value on your home of $100,000, you’re talking about $390 per year,” Herlein said.

Herlein realizes that the millage is asking for a lot of money.

But with the county planning on contributing millions of dollars to the project, he says now is the time to act.

“If we want to do something with our roads, it really is up to us,” Herlein said. “In the end, we all end up with a great product and I think this is the most fair, equitable way to do it.”

While some residents told 6 News that they’re concerned about the millage because they already pay enough taxes, others say cars are getting damaged, and it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

“I love Spring Arbor. It would be great to not be fearful driving down the roads,” Folkler said.

If the millage is approved by voters, the township wants road work to start sometime in the summer.

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