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Local road commission disappointed governor's bond won't help local roads

Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 05:36:33-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — At least one group is feeling left out of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's plan to fix the roads, and that's county road commissions. Whitmer unveiled her plan to use bond money to fix state roads and bridges during the State of the State address last week.

"Compared to the state average we do have better roads than most, but that's not good enough for us," Alex Doty, spokesman for the Ottawa County Road Commission said.

He says, like other communities across the state, local roads in Ottawa County are also crumbling. Doty says the road commission is disappointed the $3.5 billion bond announced by the governor is limited to state trunk lines.

"Roads that you go from your neighborhood to your job, to your doctors appointment, grocery store, all those roads that you travel everyday are not getting any funding from these bonds," Doty said.

He added, "Our residents are concerned. We've gotten people that have called us and said what can we do to let the leaders in Lansing know that we want our local roads fixed, in addition to the state highways."

Doty says the state ought to establish a sustainable source of funding that uses the public act formula that's currently in place and put partisan politics aside.

"We really hope that they come up with something that benefits long-term," he said.

Governor Whitmer has called on the legislature to come up with solutions to benefit local roads as well. FOX 17 has reached out to the governor’s office for response to this story but have not heard back.