After decades of requiring residents to request repairs on roads in their neighborhoods, Farmington Hills voters will decide on November 6 whether to switch to a city-wide millage for local road repairs.
Currently, neighborhood residents must request road work through a petition process. The city is limited by charter to covering no more than 20 percent of costs, with the balance assessed to homeowners.
Officials expect the 2.75-mill levy to generate about $9.2 million in its first year. In addition to neighborhood road repairs, funds would be used to zero out current special assessments, issue refunds to homeowners who have paid for their roads.
In a September presentation at City Hall, Director of Public Services Karen Mondora said that the city has used a pavement assessment system to rank road conditions on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the worst. The city’s average rating is 4.5.
“Of the 243 miles of neighborhood roads, we have well over half of them in poor condition currently,” she said.
Without action, Mondora said, an independent report showed 90 percent of the city’s roads will be in poor condition within 10 years. With the $10 million annual investment, conditions are projected to improve to a 6.5 average.
The city’s final informational presentation, with an opportunity to ask questions about the proposal, will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 7 p.m., at Fire Station 5, 31455 W. 11 Mile Rd., on the city’s municipal campus.
The system that worked when the city was chartered in the 1970s is now hampered by rising construction costs, Mondora said. She added that the petitioning process can become contentious and take several years to complete before construction begins.
The city has 22 miles of gravel roads, and the transition plan would include funds for paving them, she said. Neighbors would have to petition for the work, with a majority supporting the request.
The tax impact on an average-valued home in Farmington Hills will be close to $250 per year. Tax collection would begin in July 2019, with projects beginning as early as summer 2019.
Residents who want to learn the impact on their properties will find a calculator on the city’s website.
Information about the millage – including frequently asked questions, the proposal language, and maps of city road conditions – is available at fhgov.com/localroadballotproposal.
Watch Mondora’s full presentation: