Commissioners look to override veto of bridge funding bill - WNEM TV 5

Commissioners look to override veto of bridge funding bill

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Bridges are crucial to Bay City as well as several other cities across Mid-Michigan.

The bridges can cost cities millions of dollars in maintenance. A new bill would off-set some of those costs much to the delight of several Michigan cities but this week Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the bill after it passed the House and Senate.

"We're very concerned about it because that's going to hit our residents very hard,” City Manager Rick Finn said.

Maintaining roads is a high priority Finn. He's worried about losing $2 million in state funding after Snyder vetoed a bill that would've put more money in local street projects.

“What that bill would've done is done away with the current practice of requiring municipalities to pay 5-percent of the total construction cost of any kind of improvements, new roads, any kind of highways which are state related state owned,” Finn said.

The Lafayette Bridge, used as a state highway, is set to be rebuilt in 2020 at a cost of about $43 million.

Under current law, Bay City is responsible for 5-percent of the cost, which is roughly $2 million.

That’s also the amount Bay City spends for roads in the annual budget, meaning one bridge could take away from all the other projects throughout the city.

"We've lost a year because of that requirement,” Finn said.

In all, 45 cities throughout the state are affected - including Flint, Saginaw, Midland, and Mt. Pleasant.

Bay City commissioners approved a resolution requiring the state to pay the entire cost of the bridge.

They sent a letter to state lawmakers, urging them to override Snyder’s veto.

State lawmakers have until the end of the year to decide whether or not to override the governor's veto.

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