Repairing road in disrepair will fall on backs of residents - WNEM TV 5

Repairing subdivision road in disrepair will fall on backs of residents

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VIENNA TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Meadowbrook Lane in Vienna Township is showing ugly signs of its tortured life.  The thaw from the harsh winter was the final straw.

"When it's impassable, and it's heaped up two feet, something has to be done," said Jim Adams, a resident who lives on the road.

The road is so bad most of the homeowners in the neighborhood signed a petition asking Vienna Township board members to tell them what they need to do to get it replaced.  On Monday night, they got their answer.  The board told them before any work starts, they must agree to pay up.

"The money that we have set aside, it's not nearly enough to take care of all the roads," said Vienna Twp. Clerk Cynthia Bryan.

The board voted to start the process of creating a special assessment district for the residents who live on the road.  What it means is residents will get a look at the cost of replacing Meadowbrook Lane, and then vote on whether the work should be done.  The price tag would be split amongst the homeowners.

A process Bryan said is becoming more popular and the township is seeing more and more of.

"Unfortunately, I think so. We've just come off a bad winter so all the roads are extremely bad," said Bryan.

And believe it, this is not a new phenomenon.  But the tough question is why?  The Genesee County Road Commission is funded by the state's "gas tax," which has not been increased since 1997.  That money is used strictly for maintenance on local roads and only pays up to 25 percent of the reconstruction project costs for roads such as Meadowbrook Lane.

Townships say they don't have the money.  That's why residents who live on crumbling neighborhood roads are considering footing the bill.

"I understand we would have to foot some of it, and I'm OK with that. But we would want to pay our fair share," said Ryan Sharrow, who lives on Meadowbrook Lane.

"There's going to be a lot of people that are not for this, and there will be a lot of people for it. That's why we're doing this," said Adams.

On May 19 at 5:30 p.m. at Vienna Township Hall, residents who live on Meadowbrook Lane will get to weigh in on the project.  The township hopes to have a price quote and the residents will then vote.  If 51 percent of the residents agree to create a special assessment district, the work will begin.

To see a previous story on Meadowbrook Lane, CLICK HERE.

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