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Opinions vary on street improvement bond proposal

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 29, 2019

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Homeowners in Meridian Township are being asked to dig deeper in their wallet to fix the roads.

They'll vote next week on whether or not to approve a $35 million street improvement bond proposal.

Cary Ford, a homeowner who is voting 'yes,' said there are roads in his subdivision that would be fixed under the proposal.

Existing local street funding is provided through Ingham County's local match program and Meridian Township's 0.2479 local street millage. Combined, these funding sources can provide $600,000 per year for local streets. Township officials said the current funding need is $3.5 million annually for the next 10 years to get the roads to "good condition."

The increase would cost the average homeowner 1.95 mills over a decade and would allow the township to repave 147 local miles of roads.

For instance, the owner of a home with a market value of about $300,000 would pay $292 per year, up from $36 annually for a house of the same value.

"They've been neglected for an awfully long time. There are lots of potholes and all of us have vehicles subject to damage. Kids play and use the streets in the neighborhoods. I just feel like we can't continue to let them go," Ford said.

Although one homeowner who didn't want to talk on-camera said he's voting 'no,' because he doesn't want to help foot the bill for local streets he doesn't use frequently.

Although Ford said the tax is significant, it's worth the cost to fix the roads. "All of our local roads improves property values and improves desirability in our neighborhoods. I advocate for both of those."

Residents will vote for or against the proposal on Aug. 6.

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