By Nick Barnowski
Lansing Township News
LANSING TWP. – Repairs to Lansing Township’s roads and sidewalks could come as soon as next spring.
Voters in August approved half of a millage to be used to repair township roads and sidewalks that have not been evaluated since 2000.
“We decided that by doing half of a mill for sidewalks and roads, all the sidewalks that are cracked up can be redone,” Lansing Township supervisor Kathleen Rodgers said.
The millage period is 10 years, while half a mill in Lansing Township raises approximately $135,000, according to Rodgers.
Lansing Township’s Public Works Committee, composed of Trustees Diontrae Hayes and Tracie Harris and Treasurer Leo Rodgers, created comprehensive sidewalk and road plans following the election.
Leo Rodgers, chair of the committee, could not be reached for comment.
Money from the millage, which will be collected each December, will be split with half going toward sidewalk and street repairs.
Sidewalk pads in need of fixing throughout the township will be recorded in April and May. Those sidewalks will then be separated into districts and repairs will take place from 2015-24.
“The reason behind going for a millage for sidewalks is that if you live in a neighborhood, you don’t just walk in on the sidewalks that are in from of your house,” Rodgers said. “You would walk the neighborhood most likely.
“The feeling that the township board had was, why should we be going out and telling one homeowner that you need to get your sidewalk pad fixed when it’s one that everyone uses?”
According to the current township sidewalk plan, the Edgemont subdivision, located near West Saginaw Street and North Waverly Rd., will be first to receive the repairs in 2015.
Lansing Township streets are set to be upgraded beginning in 2015 with Genesee St., North Grace St. and Bon Air St.
“The reason that we added roads into the mix is because we have neighborhoods in Lansing Township that have no roads and no sidewalks,” Rodgers said. “They are just roads with some drainage, shoulders, no curb and no sidewalks.”
Rodgers also said there would likely never be sidewalks installed along township streets if they do not already exist due to cost reasons.
Michigan roads have long been an issue for drivers. A survey conducted by EPIC-MRA, released exclusively to the Detroit Free Press, found that more than 90 percent of respondents had a negative opinion about the state’s roads.
Lansing Township resident Mike Greer, 24, is happy that improvements will be made to local infrastructure.
“I’m glad the township and county is finally taking steps to improve road conditions because some of them are brutal to drive on,” Greer said. “I hope roads in other parts of the state get fixed as soon as possible too.”