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Township trustees come up with rough road remedy

July 25, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Poland Township has close to 54 miles of roadway that it is responsible for. Many of the roads are in poor shape and just to patch them is getting costly. Trustees think they may have a solution that will restore the township roads while making the neighborhoods look nicer.

The plan is to place a "bond levy" on the November ballot and see if voters want to go that route. The levy, although it is only that by name, would place a seven-year bond issue before voters that would raise a one-time $4.5 million for roads only.

"This cannot be used for wages, benefits, or anything other than paving roads," said Trustee Eric Ungaro.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Poland Township Trustees Ed Kempers and Joanne Wollet check out one of the side streets around the Parkway Drive area that is in need of repaving. If all goes well, the township has a plan to repave over 40 miles of township roads at one time.

The last time Poland Township had a road levy on the ballot was in 1977 when voters approved a 2-mill, five year levy that has since been continuously renewed. In fact, the township has a total of seven voted mills, or outside millage, coming from four levies. In 1978, voters approved a 2-mill general expense levy, in 1981 a 1-mill continuing police levy and in 1996 a 2-mill police levy.

Instead of looking at another renewable levy, trustees looked at getting all the township's rough roads repaired at the same time. By going for a seven-year bond, the township will receive all of the $4.5 million the bond would raise in February of next year. That will allow trustees to bid out the 45 miles of road surface that needs done.

"Because of the amount of roads we will be doing, we will get the best rates possible," said Trustee Joanne Wollet.

She said the project will include a new process that puts a kevlar fiber into the asphalt. The fiber improves strength and durability and allows the road surface to be more flexible, thus reducing cracking that could turn into pot holes.

"Typical new asphalt surfaces last between 7 to 10 years," Wollet said. "With the kevlar fibers added, the road surface is expected to go 12 to 15 years."

Trustee Ed Kempers said he is already hearing from residents who think it is a good plan.

"I have heard from neighbors [this project] will make Poland Township look very nice," he said.

He said the actual cost per $100,000 of valuation would be $71 per year. He believes, as do all the trustees, that having a bond paid off and gone in seven years is something the voters would rather see.

Wollet did say the big paving program that is under the bond levy would be on top of the 2018 paving program, which recently went out to bid.

"Shawbutte, Katahdin, Oak, and half of Christina Court are going out to bid for 2018," she said. "The paving will have the kevlar fibers in it."

Should voters not approve of the bond "levy," the township will have to continue on its present course of patching as best they can.

"We will continue to patch as best we can," Kempers said.

"People will have to be very patient," Wollet added.



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