Hamburg Township Officials Gather Public Input For Road Improvements
January 11, 2017
One local township took public input on which roads needed the most work, Tuesday night.
The Hamburg Township Board of Trustees held a special meeting to gather resident’s opinions on how and where their recently passed road millage dollars should be spent. The millage, approved by voters last November, is a 5-year, 1-mil assessment that will come out to average approximately $1-million dollars a year. Supervisor Pat Hohl acknowledged to the packed house that this wasn’t going to be enough money to get all of the township’s roads fixed, and they understand not everyone is going to be happy about it.
A 2014 study estimated that it would cost between 20 and 25 million dollars to do the complete job. Hohl told WHMI that the recent raises in the gas tax and vehicle registrations aren’t going to go as far as many people might imagine. Hohl said that residents need to be aware of the fact that the state road funding legislation that was passed in 2015 was not designed to fully fund local roads. The supervisor said that state Senator Joe Hune and state Representative Lana Theis came to their August special meeting and indicated that they needed to be aware of the fact that if many of the roads needed to be repaired, the citizens would have to tax themselves to get that work done. Many people stood up to share their feelings on which roads needed to be prioritized with what money there was to spend. Kress Road gained the most support. Residents shared several anecdotes about the road having been in disrepair for decades and a danger to not only drivers, but also pedestrian and bike traffic. Winans Lake Road from Chilson to the roundabout was also targeted by many, mostly for the drivable surface being too narrow. Rush Lake and Hamburg Road also garnered a lot of requests for improvement.
Hohl said the meeting was very helpful and that the board will have an in-depth discussion about how to proceed. Anyone who still wishes to leave a comment on public record regarding the matter, is invited to do so through the township’s website. (MK)