DeWitt prepares for bridge repairs

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By Brett Kast
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

Two bridges, one at Schavey Road and the other at Bridge Street, are in need of some substantial repairs in the next 10 years, and the Dewitt City Council is making sure they have the financial means to make these repairs happen.  In order to insure that the funds for these projects are readily available, the City Council created the “Bridge Repair Fund”, which set aside $120,000 to be used on the bridges,

“The fund is designed to set aside money each year so we do not have to come up with the funding all at one time, issue a large amount of debt or raise taxes to pay for the repairs,” said Dewitt City Administrator Daniel Coss.

The repairs needed for the bridges are very expensive, and the fund is expected to grow over time.

“We are anticipating to be able to add 60K toward each bridge each year,” said Coss. “We have two bridges that will require approximately 1.5 million in repairs in the next 10-15 years.”

In order to help cover the costs, the city is also looking for other help.

“In addition to the bridge fund the City will look for grant opportunities as the repairs get closer to help cover the costs,” said Coss.

The repairs that the bridges require include new bridge decks and significant repairs to the super structure.  By planning ahead of time, the city council believes it will be able to avoid burdening future councils with necessary repair costs, and will avoid having to raise taxes.

“Taxes are not being raised, the money comes from street funds that the city gets from the State of Michigan and from the general fund,” said Coss.  “One of the reasons we started the fund was so the City would not have to issue debt to make the necessary repairs.”

By starting early and adding more funds yearly, along with the possible money from the state, the city is thinking in terms of the future and hoping that this fund will solve any problems that may arise with repairs in the future.

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