Hansen bill helps fund community road projects

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday passed a measure sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen that would provide money to smaller communities for road preservation and construction.

Senate Bill 1116 would create the Community Service Infrastructure Fund, a matching grant program assisting cities and villages with populations of 11,000 or fewer.

“Coming from a small, rural area, I understand the hardships local governments encounter when finding funds for local roadway projects,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Currently, there are state programs to address road repairs around the state but none are specific to smaller communities in need. My goal is to aid these areas, which often have aging roads in need of repair.”

Under the bill, the cost for each project awarded funding could not exceed $250,000, and the community would be required to match at least 50 percent of that cost. The funds could be used for reconstruction, replacement, rehabilitation, capital preservation maintenance and similar projects.

Cities and villages would apply for funding through a process determined by the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Economic Development. The program would be in place for five years, allowing future legislators to evaluate it and make any necessary changes.

SB 1116 has been sent to the Michigan House for further consideration.