Oct 19, 2010

Livingston County roads in worse condition than Detroit roads

HOWELL - Thanks to the all Republican County Board of Commissioners, our roads are worse than those of Detroit.

To illustrate that fact, the Livingston County Democrats are announcing a “Worst of the Worst” pothole contest in a bid to find the worst pothole in the county. This is similar to a statewide contest.

Figures from the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) have shown that 37.4 percent of Livingston County roads are rated “poor.” Livingston County Democrats would like to know which pothole among the hundreds of miles of poor roads is really the worst.

“With so many bad roads to choose from, it shouldn’t be hard to find a winner,” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee. “We all drive on these roads each and every day, resulting in damage to our vehicles.

“Yet our all-Republican county commission has decided that the best use of public funds is to expand an airport that fewer and fewer people use,” she said. “This is an example of the wrong kind of priorities for our county. Bad roads not only cost us money out of our pockets. They also turn off people and businesses that might want to locate here. We don’t have to put up with bad roads. We can do something about it by changing leadership on Nov. 2.”

The MITA compiles a report annually on the number of miles of poor roads in the state. The 37.4 percent figure for Livingston County, based on the November 2009 report, is nearly double the 20 percent of roads in the city of Detroit rated “poor.” Statewide, only 32 percent of the roads were rated “poor.”

Some areas of the county have virtually all the miles of roads covered by the report rated “poor.” In Iosco Township, for example, 35 of 37 miles, or 96 percent, are rated “poor” by the report.

“It’s a sad commentary when a wealthy county like Livingston County can’t afford to keep its roads in better condition than the city of Detroit,” Daubenmier said. “The situation will only get worse as more and more of our tax dollars are spent paying off debt for infrastructure in subdivisions the county backed that were never finished, leaving less money available for services.”

Daubenmier noted that while townships have been making bond payments for the unfinished subdivisions, they are using money loaned to them by the county’s delinquent tax revolving fund. Now they must begin repaying the county that money plus interest, while continuing to make the bond payments. The double-whammy will devastate services. Instead of spending the interest received by the delinquent tax revolving fund on the airport, Daubenmier said it should be returned to the townships in the form of road repairs.

MITA has estimated that the average Michigan motorist spends $370 a year for vehicle repairs and time spent stuck in traffic due to poor roads. As a way to defray part of that cost, the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee will award a $50 prize to the person who nominates the winning pothole.

Contestants are invited to submit a photograph of what they think is the worst pothole in the county. They should include their name, address, phone number or email, and the location of the pothole so that it can be inspected. Entries may be mailed to the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Entries also may be emailed to livcodems@sbcuc.net. In lieu of a photograph, contestants also may submit a video and upload it to youtube.com. The link to the video should be emailed to livcodems@sbcuc.net. The deadline is noon on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

In case of a tie, the entry submitted first will be the winner. Entries will be judged by officers of the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee. The winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 29.

MITA is a broad-based, bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens with the goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure.

Here are the townships in Livingston County with the number of miles covered by the report, the number rated “poor” and the percentage.
Township Miles in Report Miles Rated Poor Percentage Rated Poor
Brighton 136 23 17 percent
Cohoctah 51 39 76 percent
Conway 45 29 65 percent
Deerfield 40 21 52 percent
Genoa 124 39 31 percent
Green Oak 112 35 31 percent
Hamburg 65 21 33 percent
Handy 66 29 43 percent
Hartland 93 18 19 percent
Howell 98 22 22 percent
Iosco 37 35 96 percent
Marion 57 24 41 percent
Oceola 60 26 43 percent
Putnam 40 19 47 percent
Tyrone 32 80 41 percent
Unadilla 49 19 47 percent
TOTALS 1153 431 37.4 percent

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