Knollenburg’s Bill Saves Taxpayers Millions

Vote to eliminate the transportation cost-share mandate for local governments passes in Lansing

Lest you’ve missed the news that the Michigan Department of Transportation expected every city of 25,000 residents intersected by I-75 to share in the cost of widening the freeway. Troy officials just last month had noted that would be over $6 million.

Troy City Council passed a resolution opposing the charges and sent a copy to everyone in Michigan they thought might be impacted.

Meanwhile, Sen. Marty Knollen-berg introduced a bill to put an end to the “fees.’’ The bill supports local communities and protects transportation investment.

Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick who went to Lansing to testify for Knollenberg’s bill says it could save Troy taxpayers over $10 million.

The bill passed the House recently, with zero votes against it.

There have been rumors that Gov. Rick Snyder might veto the bill, but Knollenberg doesn’t believe that will happen.

Rep. Martin Howrylak  voted in support of Senate Bill 557, introduced by Sen. Marty Knollenberg, which would eliminate the municipality cost-share requirement for Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) projects.

Under current law, cities and villages with populations greater than 25,000 are required to pay a percentage of MDOT’s projected costs for opening, widening and improving state trunkline highways within the municipality’s jurisdiction. This practice creates inequality when certain cities and villages are required to subsidize the state’s transportation projects.

The City of Troy is one of 45 municipalities impacted by this statutory cost-share requirement. As a result of the MDOT I-75 widening project, Troy would be responsible for paying $2,939,652 over the next five years.

“Unpredictable bills of this magnitude can have a devastating impact on a city’s limited budget,” said Rep. Howrylak, R-Troy. “Local governments should not be forced to make a tough decision between decreasing services and meeting this cost-share requirement, which is why I strongly support SB 557.”

SB 557 passed the House unanimously and was sent to the Governor for signature.