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Money for local roads should start flowing into several Michigan communities

Nov 5, 2014

Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This week voters in four out of five counties approved special millages to fix and maintain local roads.

Road funding has been a hot topic the last few elections as state lawmakers struggle to come up with a way to fund road repairs.

County Road Association of Michigan Director Denise Donahue says more local governments are asking voters for dedicated road millages.

“It’s not the solution, but certainly many, many areas of the state have stepped up and said this is important to us,” Donahue said. “I think it’s representative of the public’s frustration that we can’t get this done on a statewide basis.”

This week voters in Midland, Otsego, Eaton, and Ottawa counties approved millages. Donahue says that means roughly a third of Michigan’s 83 counties now have road millages.

Eaton County had the largest millage on the ballot – it’ll bring in roughly $60 million over the next 12 years. Together, the millages would raise around $90 million combined. Only voters in Lapeer County rejected a road millage Tuesday, with 54% voting against it.