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Would You Support a Road Millage in Hartland?

The Hartland Township Board of Trustees will discuss the results of a community study Tuesday, in which 69 percent of participants said road maintenance is a priority.

The results of the community survey Hartland Township officials sent out late last year are in, and roads are at the top of residents' list for improvements.

The survey was sent to 1,550 Hartland households and 758 surveys were sent back.

Of those people, 57 percent said they would support a millage to maintain and repair roads, while 45 percent of respondents said they would support a millage to pave over gravel roads in high traffic areas.

The topic of paving over gravel roads was brought up in a conversation last week on Hartland Patch, in reponse to a story about a man who was hit and killed in a car accident on Fenton Road near Clyde Road.

"Improving Clyde road, maybe paving a portion of the road coming up to Fenton road would help, along with maybe some type of rumble strips to alert the driver," said a commenter named Mary.

Thirty-four percent of survey responders said they would support a millage to improve walkability throughout the towship.

When asked which services residents would be willing to cut, however, if budgets needed to be reduced, nearly 30 percent of respondents said adding bicycle and walking paths could be cut. This was the service most chosen by respondents for cuts, followed closely by sidewalk repairs.

In a conversaion on Hartland Patch in September, several commenters said they would be happy to pay for improved walkability and sidewalk repairs in Hartland, particularly in the village area.

"I support a millage to raise money to repair the streets in Hartland. I do not live in town, but I visit the town center for parades and other activities," wrote a commenter named Diane. "It is a source of pride for me to have sweet little Hartland maintained. Our small towns are quickly disappearing, and it would be a shame to continue to let Hartland decay."

However, others chimed in that people in the village area of Hartland should pay for sidewalk repairs themselves, while still others said it should not be a priority for Hartland as a whole.

"If I wanted to live in a shiny polished suburb and pay much higher taxes, I'd move," said a commenter named Angela. "Leave Hartland alone. It's perfect the way it is."

According to the survey results, 69 percent of respondents said road maintenance is a budget priority. Respondents could choose seven budget priorities, and 69 percent of people also put law enforcement on their list. Sixty-three percent of people chose fire response as a budget priority.

You can read the entire survey report in the PDF attached to this story.

Jordan Genso January 22, 2013 at 06:48 PM
It's a shame that townships like Hartland have to resort to doing their own road millages because the county road commission and county commissioners refuse to take responsibility for that service, even though it is supposed to be handled at the county level. The roads throughout Livingston County are in poor condition relative to other counties, and that is because Livingston County government passes the buck onto the townships, whereas many other counties don't do that. I don't know if it's because the county is so paranoid about losing their status as having the "lowest taxes in the state", but if you actually consider the millages the townships in Livingston have to pass in order to provide what should be county services, then Livingston doesn't have the "lowest taxes in the state". It's an accounting gimmick that the county uses for political purposes, and that leaves the townships having to pick up the slack. I feel bad for the different township boards throughout the county. Road millages at the township level are difficult because how should the money be allocated? To roads that are used most often by township residents, or roads that are also used by residents in the neighboring townships as they travel through Hartland? The difference is between focusing on roads near higher population density (such as Bergin or the roads by Maxfield Lake or near the village) or the main arteries (like Pleasant Valley/Fenton Rd or Clyde).
hartland eagle January 23, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Hartland had a road millage on the ballot in 2010, with a detailed 5 year plan on how they'd spend the money. It failed. Miserably. Jordan is spot on about county taxes. Low taxes mean limited services. You get what you pay for. This failed just two years ago. Not sure why the board is wasting time on it again. People support it in a survey because they're thinking their road will be paved, or they're getting sidewalks. When the plan comes out and it doesn't immediately benefit them, they vote against it.
Keith Munro January 23, 2013 at 05:11 PM
We, in the Township in the recent past, purchased a Taj Mahal of a township office and a new athletic complex. Money for roads should not be an issue either.......Right???
NotLazy January 23, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Agree with all the above....If you look closely and the Power Point / PDF attached to this article (which by the way is pretty bad if this is the entire report. Where are the actual tallies of the results? ALL the results!) It also shows many people favor not paving new roads if budgets are tight. Additionally, the questions of Road Maintenance and New Roads are suspiciously intertwined and poorly (or cleverly) written for some public officials personal gain.....

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