Village roads could see major rehabs in future, council considers options

By Georgia Thelen
Review Staff Writer
Edward Zmich from Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. (HRC) presented the Village of Lake Orion councilmembers with their Roadway Assessment Management Plan (AMP) on Oct. 24 at the council meeting.
HRC developed this AMP, which included a Pavement Condition Survey of all village owned roads, to provide a framework for future projects within the village. A Pavement Condition Survey rates roads, estimates costs and funding, predicts future conditions, sets priorities and hears recommendations.
There are 11.6 miles total of village-owned roads. Every road was rated using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) visual rating method. The PASER method is a visual evaluation that includes engineering properties. PASER ratings are: 1-3 poor condition, 4-6 fair condition and 7-10 good condition.
Zmich informed the council that there were no 8, 9, or 10 rated roads in the village.
There were several roads with rating of 6 or
7 because they have been repaved and had joint sealing done in the past few years. With the entire downtown having been repaved in 2010, many of the downtown streets are still in mildly good condition.
In the late 90’s, over 50 percent of the village roads were rehabbed, as well.
The assesment stated that 88 percent of the village roads were rated 1-6, with a 4.1 average rating for all village-owned roads. Some of the worst roads in the village were Cass Street, west of Perry Street, which earned a PASER rating of 1, and Lapeer Street, north of Flint Street, which earned a PASER rating of 2, the most common village road rating.
To bring the entirety of village roads to a 7-10 rating of good condition, the total cost for engineering and labor was estimated at $7.67 million. With a small joint sealing costing $6,000 and a minor road mill and overlay with no base repair needed costing $125,000, the costs for this project will add up quickly as the costs for labor constantly rise, Zmich said.

There are several different funding options if the village decides to take on the substantial road project.
The largest funding option would be Act 51 funds (also known as the Michigan Transportation Fund Act), Federal funding, the Surface Transportation Program (STP), village investment or residential investments.
HRC generated a report of road conditions based on the average annual funding of these road projects, with a target goal of $750,000 a year from 2017-2026. There would be no major road rehabs until 2023, with the next 6 years strictly covering maintenance and upkeep of current roads. Zmich compared regular upkeep of roadways to changing ones oil in a car — if it’s not done, it deteriorates quicker and the repairs only become more costly.
As of June 30, 2016, the Village’s available Act 51 funds were approximately $215,592, and those funds are only expected to go up over the years. Ken Van Portfliet, Council President questioned the criteria of Act 51 funding and said “Act 51 is the only way to offset costs to our taxpayers.”
The village plans on thoroughly looking at all of their funding options and reviewing their road statuses with the state to see if there is additional funding available. They may also consider a millage, which would allow the village to spread out costs and do the work over several years.

Parks & Rec position eliminated
On Aug. 23, the Lake Orion Parks & Recreation committee recognized Hank Ferry had excessive, unexcused absences. At an April 26 meeting, he had given a verbal resignation, but never submitted an official letter of resignation. Ferry has not attended another Parks & Recreation meeting since then.
Oct. 10, Village council considered eliminating his position completely due to a request from the remaining Parks & Recreation members, which would reduce the Parks & Recreation council to five members only. They decided to postpone the issue, reach out to Ferry and see if he would like to share his thoughts and viewpoints on the subject of him being excused.
“Prior to all of this, Mr. Ferry was a very active member and we thank him for that,” said Ken Van Portfliet, Council President.
After trying to reach Ferry with no return contact, the Village voted 5-0 to completely vacate Ferry’s previous position and not to fill the vacancy. Reducing the number of Parks & Recreation committee members to five would ultimately make each voting process easier.