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County officials to study consolidation of Road Commission duties

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg said the plan is to study the pros and cons of such a potential move.

“It’s a very complex proposition,” he said. “We just really need to see what benefits our residents and the motoring public.”

Based on the new state law, appointed county road commissions could be dissolved by a majority vote of a county’s board of commissioners. Voters would have the final decision on whether to dissolve road commissions in counties where road commissioners are elected.

The state Legislature passed the bills to create the new law earlier this month. Gov. Rick Snyder signed them into law at the state Capitol today.

Ottawa County will study the merger concept in cooperation with the county’s Road Commission. The study is expected to include a comprehensive review of Road Commission operations, liabilities and responsibilities required for managing the county road network.

County officials said a key component of the proposed study will be road funding. Recent proposals from legislators in Lansing to require increased local funding of the local road system have set up a situation in which county taxpayers may be expected to shoulder an increased burden for paying for future improvements to the county road and bridge network.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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