I'm still not comfortable about what is happening in Bloomfield Township as it relates to subdivision roads and repaving.
There are two Public Hearings on Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 7 PM.
Please read the Board Packet for more details.
I encourage those homeowners in the affected subdivisions to attend the Public Hearing.
It's been difficult to determine what exactly bothers me the most.
Here are my thoughts and opinions:
- Oakland County has a fair process in place to repave subdivision roads. Only the Township has suggested a new procedure. Why does the Township feel a need to "take over" the process?
- The Township has offered a new procedure where they offer better bond rates, longer period of time to pay and important to some, equal payments regardless of the size of your property road frontage, to entice the neighborhood into using the Township S.A.D. program to repave roads vs the County program.
- Other communities (and Bl. Twp. could be one) using the County program, are assessed costs for how much of their property fronts the road. Often properties with a lot of lineal frontage are the ones thus controlling whether or not the road they live on gets repaved....as they would pay substantially more for the repaving. 51 % homeowner and 51 % lineal footage is required to begin the S.A.D. process by the County to repave individual roads.
- The Township basically said...let's share the debt equally. HOWEVER... the entire subdivision must be redone at the same time. This is NOT on an individual road basis. Oh really? Why?
- This Township program....forces an entire subdivision population versus individuals on separate roads within the subdivision to make a collective decision on whether or not to repave the ENTIRE subdivision. Only 51 % approval from the entire subdivision is needed for the project to proceed plus 51% of the total subdivision lineal footage.
- Are there roads within those subdivision that do NOT need repaving? Under the Oakland County program for repaving, only those roads that get 51 % of the people and 51 % lineal footage on THAT street requesting repaving are considered for a S.A.D. agreement. Under the Township program, regardless of the condition of the streets.... all subdivision streets will be repaved and "supposedly" all homeowners in that subdivision would share the cost equally.
- EXCEPT, I have learned that not 100% of the subdivision properties are going to be assessed for the project. So here is my question: WHY? Well, the answer seems to be that most or all of their property frontage/driveway is on a major road that is not being considered to be repaved and therefore, they do not use the interior roads connecting THEIR subdivision...house to house.
- So, the question becomes: Did any of the "non-payers" sign the petition? Were those "non-paying" residents counted in the total for what was needed for the 51% approval on the petitions? Did their "lineal footage" of their property count toward the 51 % needed? Do the other subdivision "members" know some are excluded from the mandatory payments for 15 years?
- If your property is legally within the defined subdivision boundary ... should you share the costs for this S.A.D. ? Are properties removed from other S.A.D. projects such as sewer/water/lakes ??? Should ALL subdivision members be told who is NOT paying from their membership group for the S.A.D. ?
- These S.A.D.'s (Special Assessment Districts) force people (as a group) to take action on a perceived specific community problem. Not all want the expenses nor not all feel there is a problem needing fixing. Not all in Bloomfield Township have the same ability to pay these costs. There is also nothing that said all 100 % needed to be notified about the project. Once the 51% signed the petition...and 51% of the lineal footage is met....there can be project approval.
- I think that more than 51% petition approval should be required by the Township for their program for subdivision repaving.
- I also believe that the signed petitions, the complete list of subdivision members and the lineal road footage for each property be part of the Township Board Packet at the Public Hearings. Open and Transparent information for S.A.D. projects.
- Are your subdivision roads asphalt or concrete? There is a difference in cost.
- How old is your subdivision road? Can "repairs" be made? Look at the Township "road" budget that you are already paying.
- The Township has collected a special road department tax from the Township residents for decades. Today's road budget is over $4 MILLION. How was the money spent over all those years? The county and the state have also collected taxes from you over the many years for roads! It appears that the state is currently looking at ways to collect even more in taxes and fees for the repair of roads. That said, some subdivisions just forced their neighbors into a multi-thousand dollar expense....for roads....with no vote.
- At the Monday, April 22, 2013 Board of Trustees meeting @ 7 PM there are more PUBLIC HEARINGS on subdivision road repaving projects as S.A.D. 's. If approved to proceed, the township board will initially finance the project until Bonds are purchased. I certainly expect that those bond payments are the responsibility of the households that are named in the S.A.D. documents and that the rest of the township taxpayers are not liable for any of those costs in case someone or many default on those payments.
- Last thought..... what is the life expectancy of this new subdivision road? Hopefully longer than the 15 years of payments.
See Feb. 26, 2012
See Jan. 12, 2013
See Jan. 20, 2012