Brad Lamberg, managing director of the Barry County Road Commission, gave his annual report to Barry County Commissioners Tuesday.
“The status of the roads in Barry County is great,” he said, thanking “the people who supported us and helped us…townships have supported us, you have supported us…” he said.
The county township’s financial contributions are key to the road commission and they continue to hold steady, he said.
amberg' report presented revenues and expenditures, including a copy of the 2017 financial report, the roadwork selection process, township gravel totals, and county wide crack seals, paving and sealcoating projects.
While revenue of $12.1 million is needed for essential expenses, the BCRC receives $9.8 million, leaving an annual shortfall of $2.3 million. “While our county roads are stable and slightly improving, there is still significant need, but most of the local agencies are in much worse shape,” he said in his report.
He outlined costs to taxpayers and revenue increases of 2018 and applauded state legislators and Governor Snyder for their efforts to increase road funding. The first full year of the 2015 increases raised about $600 million a year, plus a one-time $175 million boost this year. Beginning in 2019, the state’s general funds will begin phasing in an additional permanent $600 million annually. The increases will eventually raise an additional $1.2 billion for roads by 2021, he said.
2017 marked another successful year at the Barry County Road Commission, with routine maintenance, preservation and construction projects completed successfully without significant accidents or injuries, he said, crediting “an extremely dedicated and skilled workforce and professional staff” for further increasing its responsiveness to the needs of the community.
In spite of increasing demands, inclement weather and funding shortages, the commission believes it had provided on of the best county road systems in Michigan, Lamberg said.
Also to do with the road commission, county commissioners recommended approval of a BCRC grant request from the State Disaster Contingency Fund.
The road commission spent $230,000 related to floods this spring; they qualify to apply for $94,000 of the $100,000 grants for gas, materials and overhead.