Michigan would help pay for local roads under governor's plan

| 3/15/2006

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced a plan March 7 that would allow the state to pay local governments’ shares on some roadwork to get projects done sooner and add construction jobs for this year and in 2007.

The governor’s plan would green light the state to use $80 million in bonding from the state trunkline fund to provide grants to county and municipal governments to match $320 million in federal transportation funding, The Associated Press reported.

Specific road and transit projects will be drawn up soon, after local governments submit their proposals.

Granholm said this is the first time the state has offered to help local governments pay the 20 percent match needed to draw in federal dollars for transportation projects.

Before the governor’s plan can come to fruition, the Michigan Legislature must amend state law to allow bonds to be issued for the local grants.

With that in mind, Sen. Michael Prusi, D-Ishpeming, has sponsored a measure that would make that happen.