Tuesday, October 15, 2013

$4 Million Yearly Road Dept. Budget Misses Many Pot Holes & Won't Repave Roads

HI All,

Tonight (10-14-13) there was an agenda item concerning 378 Lots in the Hickory Heights subdivision and nearby area.  The agenda was a "REVIEW" of what has occurred to date.  WHY?  Because so many people that are part of that 378 homes are not happy about the TOWNSHIP PROCESS  of how they have now become part of a total subdivision road repaving project that will cost each of them approximately $7200.  The S.A.D. # 407   stands for Special Assessment District.  The people in that subdivision had a reported   51 to 52 % signatures and same % of lineal footage on a petition...begun in 2011-2012 for a different taxing authority (RCOC).   The people wanting the roads to be repaved continued using that same RCOC petition/with the collected signatures from 2011 -2012  and ADDED more signatures (to that old petition) in 2013 but instead of submitting the petitions to the county.... the petitions were submitted and certified in July 2013 by the TOWNSHIP assessor.    It sounded like revisions to those petitions are still being made ?..... that petition basically commits the other 48-49 % to the road repaving project and related costs to the NEWLY created Township S.A.D. process.

Tonight... the "REVIEW" agenda ... apparently had the opportunity for the 7 elected Bloomfield Township officials to "rescind"  the action(s) taken so far after hearing from those in attendance.   That option to rescind was NOT made public via the agenda or the board packet.  I wonder, did some attending the meeting know that was an option going to be considered?  Did both sides of the issue know...or just one side?   Or neither?   Certainly all the TRUSTEES and ATTORNEY knew before the meeting.... that they were going to suggest that option to rescind. The news that the issue could be rescinded appeared to give many at the meeting hope that this issue could get a restart... and have new petitions with signatures that clearly are signed knowing all the details for just the Township S.A.D process.   But of course...in the end... the 7 elected officials all sat stone faced and not one made a motion to rescind their previous decisions.  No surprise there.

However, I got the impression that any board member that wishes.....COULD...IN THE FUTURE...  make a motion to rescind.    However, if they didn't understand the importance of legal petitions tonight ..and the importance of open and transparent communications...sharing legal details/options for homeowners...and following procedures......don't count on it.     I believe the township wants to pave all the subdivisions at homeowner expense....and quickly.    Your subdivision....may be next.

THERE IS MORE TO COME WITH ANOTHER PUBLIC HEARING early next year 2014.   Do the residents have another chance to express what they REALLY want/don't want  as to the road repaving?   Some roads are really bad...some not so bad according to the people there.  Some want a total road redo....some want capping....some want nothing done.   Why does it have to be an all or nothing deal?

The township mentioned  wishing  to proceed in May 2014 with the repaving...by the township S.A.D. process with 378 township taxpayers footing the bill.    Is there a compromise?    This particular mess called S.A.D. # 407  is a good example of why for 30 years the OAKLAND COUNTY ROAD DEPARTMENT...got along very well with their process and communities....it worked.... some people were not always happy...but the PROCESS remained the same for everyone.
The township 2013 version of road repaving is dividing neighborhoods and creating problems.

FYI:    In the Township....15 homeowners recently received a gift:  a FREE paved road (cost $400,000)  thanks to the negotiations with Sunoco/Township leadership.   A residential lot in the township is now used by Sunoco.. they can occupy this residential lot for "safety" reasons according to the township leadership.  Really?  No change in zoning...wow...  Oh, I believe I read that the township said Sunoco VOLUNTEERED to pave the road at their cost to make the neighbors happy.
Township MINUTES of a special meeting:  Sept. 16, 2013 

FYI:   One subdivison recently got a free road repair....coincidentally... after agreeing to break a 50 year legal agreement with an adjacent strip mall...so the mall owners could do work/change the zoning that was previously prohibited.  The road repairs were not part of the original 2013-14 road budget...but money was found somewhere in the township budget.   OK,  the road fix was approved at the same board of trustees meeting.  Board says no relationship...just a coincident..  A previous blog of mine on the issue.

FYI:  too bad our $4 MILLION dollar/ per year Bloomfield Township Road Department budget over the years can't keep potholes filled so little children and grown up adults don't get hurt while traveling on the roads....as related at this meeting.  Serious problem, YES, safety is important... but why or how has the township let the subdivisions get into this reported total disrepair when the Road Department has received millions since the 1970's ?    Their agreement back then was to take over the township roads from the county  ..assuring the Bloomfield Township taxpayers that they could do the roads better. 

FYI:   Most of the $4 million/year Township Road Department budget....   (a 1 mill Twp. assessment plus more money deposited into the account from the township general fund and about $650,000 from Oakland County, which is your money, too, from collected gas taxes)   goes for equipment/personnel/ wages/benefits/pensions...... very little in repairing roads.

FYI:  Bloomfield Township Road Department millage ENDS in 2016.  Time to rethink this issue and go back to having Oakland County Road Department take care of the roads.... like EVERY OTHER COMMUNITY....   Did you know that we are the only Township in Michigan that has this kind of costs for a road department?  News flash:  We all aren't that rich.... and if a $4 million budget can't fill pot holes in  subdivisions.... why are we paying that kind of money?

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