By Patrick Gifford
The Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer
BATH – As the state grapples with how to fix its crumbling roads, Bath Township has budgeted some short-term pothole relief.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a $54-billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Feb. 11 that included $113 million in general fund spending for roads and bridges in Michigan. There is also an upcoming May ballot initiative for an additional $1.2 billion annually that would go toward the state’s worsening motor pathways.
In its most recent available annual report, the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council indicated that that “at current investment levels, the condition of both roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate.” The report also showed that 33% of Michigan’s federal-aid eligible roads are in “poor” condition.
Meanwhile, Bath Township’s budget approved last November projected $275,000 would be spent on area roads over the next year. Approximately $206,300 allocated to paved roads, $45,00 to dust control, $13,500 to a road crack filling program called “overband,” $7,200 to gravel roads and $3,000 to brush spraying.
The ultimate control for roads in Michigan goes to the counties rather than townships. Therefore, roads in Bath Township are largely dealt with by Clinton County. The Clinton County Road Commission spent $12 million last year.
“The roads are a problem for just about every community,” said Bath Township Supervisor Paula Clark. “We take it very seriously here.”
Bath Township and the Clinton County Road Commission stay in frequent contact to discuss motor pathway issues.
“We go on rides with the road commission and help them try to prioritize what needs to be done in our township,” Clark said.
Bath Township Superintendent Dan Wietecha believes that the additional $275,000 will help supplement what Clinton County is already doing.
“(The additional money) will help maintain roads which are in fair condition so they don’t deteriorate,” Wietecha said. “Overall we hope to increase the township’s average road rating.”
Bath resident Logan Griffith hopes to see improvements in the roads soon.
“It is definitely a problem everywhere, but we feel it here in Bath,” Griffith said. “These potholes are taking a toll on my car.”