Update: Infrastructure Listening Session

Infrastructure across Michigan, and particularly Wayne County, has gotten lots of attention. On April 7th, Livonia’s state representative Representative Laurie Pohutsky hosted a infrastructure listening session with colleagues State Representative Matt Koleszar (Plymouth), State Representative Stephanie A. Young (Detroit), and State Representative Mary Cavanagh (Redford).

They were joined by Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki, Beverly Watts, Director, Wayne County Department of Public Services, Animesh Aggarwal, Deputy Director, Wayne County Department of Public Services, Mark Polsdofer, Michigan State Transportation Commission and Policy Advisor, MDOT, and Hallie Fox, State Government Affairs Coordinator, Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Where we are now?

In 2019, a Wayne County audit of roads and bridges found that 59% were in poor condition and it would cost $3 billion to fix. A shortage of funds and political turmoil in Lansing has led to the road conditions continuing to deteriorate.

The good news?

A recent unexpected surplus in the state of Michigan, along with recent federal legislation, means there is A LOT of money coming to the State of Michigan to address long-standing our infrastructure issues. This will enable Wayne County to spend $90 million in 2022 – more than twice the amount of what was spent in previous years.

Additionally, the $10 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure bill has yet to be unallocated to Michigan’s city’s and counties. These funds will be dolled out by Treasury, independent of the state legislature.

These dollars will go a long way, stressed Fox, – allowing Wayne County to do more large projects beyond the ‘band aid’ approaches the county has relied on in the past. Additionally, these dollars are also allocated towards other initiatives such as groundwater systems, and lead and other contaminate abatement. This will enable projects like the recently granted Bell Creek erosion study, valued at $1 million

Hallie Fox, State Government Affairs Coordinator for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, said that Michigan’s water infrastructure is in horrible shape and emphasized the need to address lead service line replacements.

Fox also pointed out that these issues are interconnected and used flooding as an example – when roads are flooded, it can prevent someone from going to work, flood their basement and destroy their water heater, furnace, etc. The impact on daily lives is too great to do nothing.

How can Livonia get their voice heard?

Livonians can voice their infrastructure priorities by completing the following survey – https://housedems.com/infrastructure-survey/

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