Sen. Marty Knollenberg
Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation that would assist cities and villages with road repairs by removing a requirement forcing localities to use their already limited funds to reimburse the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for road projects within their limits.

“Fixing roads cannot wait,” said bill sponsor Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy. “This bill will mean more taxpayer dollars from home will stay at home so that the city roads we drive on most often can be repaired without delay.”

Under the current road-funding structure in the state, the State Trunkline Fund receives 39.1 percent of road funding, county road commissions divide 39.1 percent, and cities and villages divide the remaining 21.8 percent.

Cities and villages are then required to return a portion of their 21.8 percent to MDOT when State Trunkline projects fall within city or village limits, despite receiving nearly half as much funding as MDOT. Knollenberg’s bill, Senate Bill 557, would eliminate this requirement and save the cities of Madison Heights, Royal Oak and Troy nearly $20 million.

“Our roads must be fixed now and in a way that doesn’t pick winners and losers,” Knollenberg said. “MDOT receives nearly twice as much as locals do under current law. Cities and villages shouldn’t have to delay their own road projects or decrease services so MDOT can receive a rebate.”

SB 557 received bipartisan support and will now go to Gov. Snyder for consideration.