Village considers bond proposals for $3.2 million in street repairs.

April 13, 2016

PENTWATER — The Pentwater Village Council was updated on the services committee’s assessment of local streets, and the most economical way to pay for the needed repairs and maintenance Monday, April 11, according to a press release from the village.   

Last May, the village retained the Wade Trim engineering consulting firm, which concluded in September that nearly 70 percent of village streets need resurfacing, repair or reconstruction over the next five years, at an estimated cost of $3.2 million.  

“We’ll continue to seek grant monies,” said Village Manager Rob Allard, “but we don’t expect to get much, if any, because federal and state monies just aren’t there for local village streets. The problem is ours, and we’ll have to deal with it.”  

The services committee is chaired by Norm Shotwell and includes Jared Griffis and Don Palmer. The committee has moved cautiously, reaching out to engineering, legal and bonding experts to develop a plan that makes sense. Last October, the committee formed a small working group that includes Allard, Village President Juanita Pierman, Ted Cuchna, Kathleen Hamilton, Terry Valenzano, Mark Benner, Ron Beeber and representatives from engineering and bonding experts that has provided input on funding and communications.

To fund street repairs, the working group recommends voter approval of two municipal bond proposals at some point near term election.

The first would be to renew for 15 years the existing 1.21 mills that voters approved in 1998 to pay for the village’s portion of rebuilding Hancock Street, which will be paid off next year. A second 1.19 mills, if approved, would increase the annual taxes of a $150,000 home by $90 over 15 years.  

“Our plan is the best long-term approach to the problem, rather than a short-sighted band aid which would ultimately cost more,” said Shotwell.

“Poor streets are less safe. They are hazardous to bicyclists and pedestrians. They can damage motor vehicles. Good streets help maintain property values and reflect the positive image we all want Pentwater to have.”

Plans for public discussion and input, as well as presentations to community groups, are being developed.

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