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The short answer is no. All public roads in Michigan townships, except for a few owned and maintained by the state, are controlled by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and are under the jurisdiction of their respective county governments—in our case, the Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDoR). Township policymakers and our departments work closely with the MCDoR on public infrastructure projects and are responsible for administrative and engineering duties when we are required to contribute matching funds to complete road projects within our community. Further, we are responsible for advocating for projects that will improve the quality of life for our residents and maintain a healthy business climate in our community.
Under state law, townships do not collect or receive taxes for roads unless voter-approved millages for roads are in place. Clinton Township has no such millages. Therefore, townships do not receive state or federal government funding to fix or repair roads.
Our focus on roads is an outgrowth of Clinton Township's Strategic Vision Plan, where residents, businesses, and community leaders came together to identify our street conditions as the most critical issue facing the Township. In response, the Establishing Quality Roadways Committee (EQR) was developed and chaired by Treasurer Paul Gieleghem, who assembled a multi-disciplinary team to thoroughly study the issue and develop recommendations on ways the Township can improve roads.
Subject matter experts from the community and the state testified before the Establishing Quality Roadways Committee, which increased our member's understanding of the impediments to fixing roads and maintaining a quality road network. During the process, the Committee discovered that very few people, from policymakers to administrators, let alone the general public have a fundamental understanding of how roads are funded and who makes decisions on which roads receive dollars. As a result of the testimony presentations, Q&A sessions, and workgroups, the EQR Committee developed a comprehensive presentation and video series designed to help our community understand the multifaceted process involving repairing, building, and managing our roads.
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