2017-07-13 / News Briefs

Residents petition for street improvements

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

SAGINAW TWP. – On July 10, the Saginaw Township Board of Trustees approved street improvements that were petitioned by residents of the Silverwood Subdivision.

During the board meeting, Saginaw Township Manager Rob Grose explained that earlier in the year, residents requested road improvements in the Silverwood Subdivision. There are 47 lots involved. In March, an informational meeting was held. The group circulated petitions and 62 percent of the property owners; as well as 62 percent of the total property owned are in favor of street improvements.

The total cost of the project, which would include milling and filling is $319,000. The township is prepared to cover $750 per lot.

Grose said, “We’ve done 32 to 33 of these projects. Only once did we go over budget.”

A Silverwood Subdivision resident named Dennis stood up during the meeting and said, “I’ve lived there 19 years. I really don’t think it’s a necessity. I’m going to protest it.”

Grose responded, “The residents came to us. The actual law requires 50 percent, the township requires 60 percent [support of property owners].”

A man named Wade said he has lived in the subdivision 17 years. “I’ve walked the subdivision. Don’t do the whole thing, just repair the parts that need it.”

Gloria said, “I’ve lived there 44 years. The further back you live from Center and Marcus, the worse it gets. If you live further back there, it’s worse.”

A man named Harry said, “My background is in engineering. Why don’t you cut [sections and patch it]?”

Grose responded, “That’s not what we were asked.” He explained that it doesn’t work to patch in subdivisions. He explained that people argue that they shouldn’t have to pay for a patch when they don’t directly benefit from it.

Saginaw County Road Commission Manager Dennis Borchard said, “Yes, you could piece meal it. But you’re only as good as the base you have.” He explained that the base material used when the roads were originally built 44 years ago isn’t as good as the base material used today.

A man named Ron said he was the third house in and he is totally in favor of adding to the portions of the road that are collapsing 10 – 12 inches. “As trucks and cars go over it, it’s going to collapse even more.”

Saginaw Township Supervisor Timothy Braun said, “We don’t expect people to pay the $6,000 or $7,000 all at once.” The estimate of the average cost per parcel is $6,000; hopefully we’ll be under this estimate. The township covers $750 per lot.”

Grose explained that residents have the option of paying it over 10 years while paying four percent interest.

Braun said, “That Sweetbriar Drive entrance off Marcus has been in bad shape for 30 years.”

Borchard commented, “Sweetbriar is like going through Beriut.”

A man named Wayne said he’d like to have smoother roads, but “the smoother the road, the faster the traffic.”

A woman named Marylou commented about the garbage trucks sinking on the side of the road. She asked if it would be possible to build up the edges of the road.

Borchard explained that they would be using asphalt, not concrete (which is more expensive). They will also be adding base material. He also said, “These are not class A roads, the but township is doing the crack sealing and everything they’re supposed to be doing to maintain the roads.”

Marylou asked, “Is there a law against putting trash cans in the road?” She reasoned that if the trash cans were in the road, the garbage trucks wouldn’t be driving so close to the edge of the roads.

Braun said he wouldn’t recommend placing trash cans in the roadway.

Another woman said she has underground sprinklers that go right up to the curb. She was concerned about them.

Borchard said, “Sprinklers aren’t supposed to be in our [the Saginaw County Road Commission] right-ofway.” Although he confessed that his sprinklers are in the right-of-way too.

A woman named Rachel asked if it was possible to re-use the road’s existing stone base to save money. Borchard responded, “I’ve been in the business a number of years and I know that what’s there isn’t as good as what we use now.”

Rachel also asked if they will improve the curbs as well.

Grose said, “No, we’re doing asphalt, not concrete.”

A man said, “My property value hasn’t changed in 17 years. My property value isn’t going to increase overnight.”

Saginaw Township Assessor David Kern said, “What it does is preserve the value. People don’t buy homes where roads are in poor condition. Your neighborhoods do improve because of a project. But you’re right. You’re not going to see a $6,000 property value increase overnight.”

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