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Roads repair and replacement ballot proposal will be put to voters in November

At the general election on Nov. 6, 2018, voters in the City of Northville will be asked to decide on a ballot proposal for the issuance of a $3,050,000 Street Improvement Bond, paid for over 10 years, to replace and repair a segment of the City’s roads and provide upgraded maintenance to slow the rate of deterioration. (See official ballot language at the end of this article.)

An assessment of the City’s streets made in a 2016-17 report by the engineering firm Spalding DeDecker reported that 46.5% were in “poor” condition and 20.8% were in “fair” condition. Engineers estimate at the end of 10 years, the bond program would increase the amount of streets rated as “good” from 32.7% to 63.1% and streets rated as “poor” would decrease from 46.5% to 34.1%.

Engineers Estimate of street conditions graph

Based on the City’s Overall Condition Index (OCI), engineers ranked Northville City roads at 4.57 on a 10-point scale. In the engineers’ report, experts recommend that roads have an OCI rating of 5.7 or higher to maintain a pavement network with satisfactory driving conditions and the ability to fund repairs as needed. If the ballot proposal is approved, the OCI would climb to 6 within the first two years of increased roads spending.

The engineers’ projections show that spending these funds now is less expensive than the City’s current method of funding repairs, as reconstructing failed streets later is much more expensive than repairing and resurfacing streets now. The total costs of maintenance and street reconstruction are projected to be $2.5 million lower over the following 15 years, if the bond issue is passed, than if the City continues to spend the current amount of approximately $550,000 per year.

If the ballot proposal is approved, the bond funds would be combined with the City’s existing street millage and $1,050,000 from reserve funds to finance an infusion of $6.25 million into street repairs and replacement over the next four years. After spending the bond funds, the City would continue to use its existing street millage (currently 1.68 mills), which generates about $550,000 annually, to repair and maintain the improved street system.

Mileage Chart

If the ballot proposal is approved, the estimated millage to be levied beginning in 2019 would be 0.9787 mills (98¢ per $1,000 of taxable value). For the average residential taxpayer with a taxable value of $139,943, that amounts to an increase of $137 on their 2019 City tax bill. That increase would continue for a total of 10 years.

To calculate the exact cost for your home, multiply your taxable value by 0.00098. If you need to find your taxable value, look on your July 2018 tax bill or go to the property tax and assessing lookup on the website. The taxable value is no more than half of the market value.

A comprehensive financial analysis performed this year by Vettraino Consulting and Municipal Analytics recommended a combination of bonding and spending some of the City’s reserve funds as the most cost-effective approach to stop the deterioration of the City’s street network.

Official ballot language

Shall the City of Northville, Counties of Wayne and Oakland, Michigan, borrow the principal sum of not to exceed Three Million Fifty Thousand Dollars ($3,050,000), and issue its unlimited tax general obligation bonds, in one or more series, payable in not to exceed ten (10) years from the date of issue, to pay the cost of constructing street improvements throughout the City, consisting of paving, repaving, grading, resurfacing, reconstructing and improving streets, including curb, gutter, sidewalk, drainage, land and right-of-way acquisition and related improvements? If approved, the estimated millage to be levied in 2019 is 0.9787 mills ($0.98 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 0.9763 mills ($0.98 per $1,000 of taxable value).

The ballot calls for a “yes” or “no” vote.



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