My last message to you indicated that the road committee was "tabling" the issue of a special assessment for roads until we could discuss and revisit our options. I'm happy to report that we are back and actively seeking options as we plan to move forward. As you know, this winter has wreaked havoc on our roads and they are only going to get worse. We must revise the five ( 5) year plan and find workable options to get our roads repaired. After a discussion with the new County Road Department Manager, Jerry Peterson, we scheduled a "ride-along" so we could show him our concerns and he could answer questions to help us understand what he thinks needs to be done on our roads. As you can imagine some roads need total re-construction while others may be able to be repaired with patching and chip seal. Jerry comes to the Calhoun County Road Department from Manistee County and is active with the State Road Association. He brings new information and extensive knowledge that will help us make good decisions and find alternative ways to improve our roads.
Something that has changed is that the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners,working with the Calhoun County Road Department, have changed the way costs are to be paid for "local" roads. Previously it was to be a 50/50 split with Bedford Charter Township required to pay 50% of all local road repairs and maintenance. That has been changed to 70/30 with Bedford Township now required to pay 70% of those repairs. This is in line with what other counties have done in our area. Calhoun County will still be responsible for 100% of the cost to repair and maintain "primary" roads. That being said, we are pushing to be sure that this change means we will see our primary roads receive proper treatment as we move forward so that they can once again be of good quality.
All of this means that we must find a way to collect funds for road repairs. Without some kind of financial support the roads will never get the repair they so desperately need. As a committee we are discussing alternatives and will be scheduling Town Hall meetings to discuss options and plans as we move forward. Please continue to watch this web site, local papers, and businesses for flyers or information for meetings as they are scheduled.
If you have any questions or concerns, or are willing to help us get the word out to residents that may otherwise miss our communications, please feel free to call me at the Bedford Township office, 269-965-9096.
Road Committee Chair