LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday that will allow county boards of commissioners to dissolve and take over duties of county road commissions in Michigan.
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.
It is a measure Snyder proposed in his October special message on infrastructure.
“I appreciate the Legislature’s support in seeking effective delivery of county services and savings for local government,” Snyder said in a statement. “We must modernize the way we administer transportation programs and do business in a streamlined, transparent manner.”
Supporters say the measures will save money by eliminating duplicative administrative costs.
Some critics say a vote of the people should be required in all counties because each road commission was created by such a vote, not just those with elected commissioners.
Michigan is the only state that has county road commissions. Created more than 100 years ago, when the state’s roads were unpaved and automobiles were in their infancy, the commission system has outlived its usefulness, the statement said.
Michigan has 81 county road commissions and nearly half of them are not accountable to the rest of county government. Currently, only the largest counties are allowed to incorporate their county road commissions into their general government. Macomb and Wayne counties already have done so.
The bills now are Public Acts 14 and 15 of 2012.
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