Beverly Hills, Mich. — The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will present its proposed fiscal year 2013 budget at a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac.
The proposed 2013 budget, at $103.1 million represents an increase of $2.4 million compared to the $100.7 million 2012 budget adopted in September of last year. The proposed budget includes work on road improvement projects with a total value of nearly $44.7 million (many of the projects include expenses spread over several budget years).
RCOC’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Final adoption of the budget will take place in September.
The 2013 proposed budget is more than the 2012 budget primarily due to an anticipated slight increase in state-collected road-funding dollars and because the agency plans to use approximately $4.4 million from its fund balance. Federal road funding coming to RCOC in 2013 is expected to decrease by $1 million compared to 2012.
RCOC anticipates receiving $57.7 million in state revenues in fiscal year 2013, compared to $56.8 million in the current fiscal year. While 2012 state revues to RCOC were up very slightly compared to 2011, those revenues had declined for the five previous years after being flat for nearly 10 years.
State revenues, derived primarily from the state-collected fuel taxes and vehicle-registration fees, are RCOC’s largest source of funding and the main funding source for RCOC operations. The 2013 state revenue level will remain below the level received 13 years ago in 2000.
“These continue to be very arduous times for road agencies in Michigan,” RCOC Board Chairman Eric Wilson said. He noted that federal funding, which is generally tied to specific road construction projects and cannot be used for routine maintenance operations, tends to fluctuate considerably from year to year.
“We’re pleased we will receive more state-collected funding for 2013 than in 2012, but that slight increase will not offset the massive cost increases we have seen for materials and equipment,” RCOC Vice-Chairman Greg Jamian said. He added RCOC currently has 142 fewer staff members than in 2007, a reduction of more than 25 percent.
“Today we have fewer employees than at any time since at least 1962, when the county had half the population it has today, there were far fewer road lanes and traffic volumes were one fifth what they are today,” noted RCOC Board Member Ron Fowkes.
“While the years of declining budgets have taken a serious toll on the Road Commission,” RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar said, “we have also taken many steps to become more efficient and to cut costs. It’s true we are not able to do as much as we did in the past, but we are now using the available resources much more efficiently than ever before. That’s a tribute to the commitment and dedication of the Road Commission employees.”
At the public hearing, RCOC Deputy Managing Director/County Highway Engineer Gary Piotrowicz will review the proposed 2013 Road Improvement Program, which includes all road projects planned for 2013. Among the planned projects are:
- Widening Tienken Road from 2 lanes to 3 from Livernois to Sheldon in Rochester Hills
- Reconstructing Haggerty Road between Oakley Park and Richardson roads in Commerce Twp.
- Resurfacing Rochester Road between Lakeville Road and the southern Leonard Village limits in Addison Twp.
- Resurfacing 12 Mile Road from Stephenson Highway to Dequindre Road in Madison Heights.
- Paving the gravel portion of Oak Hill Road from Dixie Highway to Kier Road in Groveland and Springfield townships
RCOC Chairman Wilson explained the proposed 2013 budget represents the agency’s efforts to cut costs where possible while impacting services as little as possible. “Again in 2013, we will not be filling any position that is vacated unless it is absolutely critical. As a result, we are calling on our employees to continually try to find ways to do more with less or at least to maintain the best possible level of service with fewer resources and less staff.”
Managing Director Kolar noted despite the road-funding crisis, RCOC remains committed to customer service. “We will continue to do everything we can, with the resources available, to meet the needs of our customers,” he stated.
“We are charged by the public with using their money to accomplish the greatest good on the county road system. We take that responsibility very seriously.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: A summary of proposed revenues and expenses and the proposed 2013 RCOC Road Improvement Program are attached.
Proposed 2013 Budget
• State fuel tax and vehicle-registration fees $ 57,698,700
• State highway-maintenance contract $ 10,500,000
• State non-maintenance contracts $ 200,000
• Federal funding – road improvement projects $ 16,976,000
• Federal funding – Signal projects $ 2,080,000
• Federal Funding – Medicare Part D $ 300,000
• Transportation Economic Development Fund (mix of state & federal funds) $ 1,690,000
• Contributions from local governments $ 7,567,500
• Fees and other revenues $ 1,732,000
• Appropriation from fund balance $ 4,357,692
Total revenues $103,101,892
• Road Improvement Program $ 29,620,000
• Operating Expenditures $ 70,956,892
• Traffic Signal Projects $ 2,525,000
Total expenses $103,101,892
2013 RCOC Road Improvement Program
This list Includes only projects that will be constructed in 2013, not those where design or right of way work is planned for 2013, but where construction will occur in a later year. To avoid confusion over project costs, the costs listed are the total costs for each project, including any preliminary engineering, right of way acquisition and construction costs. For many projects, some of these costs (such as for preliminary engineering or right of way acquisition) were paid for in previous years’ budgets, so the total project costs are not necessarily representative of the dollars included in the 2013 budget for each project.
Safety Widenings Project Cost
· Tienken Road, Livernois to Sheldon in Rochester Hills (2 lanes to 3) $13.4 million
· Haggerty Road, Oakley Park to Richardson, Commerce Twp. (add center left-turn lane) $1.9 million
Total Safety Widenings: $15.3 million
Reconstruct/Replace (completely reconstruct or replace an existing road)
· County Center Drive East within county complex in Pontiac $915,000
· North Court Tower Blvd within the county complex in Pontiac $315,000
Total Reconstruct/Replace: $1.23 million (paid for by county general gov.)
Repair, Rehabilitate and Resurface (repair road base & add 3 or 4 inches of new asphalt to existing lanes)
· Cooley Lake, Union Lake to Williams Lake on White Lake Twp./Commerce Twp. border $450,000
· Rochester, Lakeville to the Leonard Village limit in Addison Twp. $4.9 million
· 8 Mile, Napier to Taft in Novi and Northville $4.6 million
· Coolidge, Webster to Woodward in Royal Oak $1 million
· Joslyn, Collier to north of Pacific in Auburn Hills $1.8 million
· 12 Mile, Stephenson to Dequindre in Madison Heights $3.4 million
· Avon, Adams to Livernois in Rochester Hills $4 million
· Pontiac Lake, M-59 to Cass Lake in Waterford Twp. $1.2 million
Total Repair, Rehabilitate and Resurface: $21.35 million
Pave Gravel Road (provide paved surface on currently unpaved road)
· Oak Hill, Dixie Highway to Kier on the Groveland Twp./Springfield Twp. border $2.3 million
· 13 Mile over Rouge River in Bingham Farms (between Lahser & Telegraph) $3.1 million
Overlay (simple asphalt resurfacing, with 1.5 inches of new asphalt)
· Livernois, Long Lake to Avon in Troy and Rochester Hills $1.4 million
Total cost of projects to be under construction in 2013: $44.7 million.
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