"The Road" Newsletter -- October 2021

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October 2021 | Volume 11 | Issue 10 | Bookmark and Share

2022 budget, 2022-26 Strategic Improvement Plan approved by OCRC Board

2022 OCRC Budget (Michigan Transportation Fund)

2022 OCRC Budget
MTF Gas Tax Graphic

The Ottawa County Road Commission has adopted its annual budget for fiscal year 2022, which runs October 2021 to September 2022.

This year's $54.5 million budget was developed with anticipated Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) revenues of nearly $32.5 million.

The MTF is the OCRC's principal source of funding, and it is supported by vehicle registration fees and the Michigan state gas tax. The OCRC's MTF allocation is based on a formula which includes population, miles and types of certified roads, and vehicle registrations.

Other revenues projected for the 2022 budget include the countywide road millage, federal
and state funding programs, township contributions to local road improvements, permit fees,
and sales of salvage equipment and materials.

These various funding sources allow the OCRC to perform myriad services, including summer and winter road maintenance, drainage maintenance and improvements, and other road improvement projects and maintenance.

Budgeting by the numbers

Our major projected revenue categories for the 2022 budget are as follows:

• MTF: $32.5 million
• Federal and State Grants: $6.74 million
• Countywide Road Millage: $5.25 million
• Township Contributions: $6 million

While the MTF is broken down into various components of our operating budget (see pie chart above), the other revenue sources go straight into the roads. Such road projects include preventative maintenance or road improvements.

The Board also approved the 2022-26 Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) at its Sept. 23 meeting. This plan uses anticipated revenues and road condition ratings to create a roadmap for the annual maintenance and improvement of the county road system.

The 2022 budget is currently available on our website for review, and the 2022-26 SIP is currently in production and will be available for review upon its completion.

OCRC recognized for low employee injury rates


The Ottawa County Road Commission was recognized for having one of the lowest employee injury rates among road commissions in the state this past year.

The announcement was made at the County Road Association Self-Insurance Fund’s (CRASIF) Annual Membership Meeting in Traverse City held on September 15, 2021.

“Road commission workers are constantly putting their life on the line for the motoring public,” said CRASIF Administrator Jim deSpelder.

CRASIF, a Michigan based self-insured group fund that provides disability management and workers’ compensation to road commissions, services 70 out of the 76 road commissions in Michigan. CRASIF provides safety training and workers’ compensation coverage for road commissions.

“Seventy-five percent of the roads in the state are maintained by road commissions and their roughly five thousand employees. We remind the workers that they come within a foot of death many times during the day when working in traffic,” deSpelder noted.

“The risk of injury is higher than normal when working for a road commission,” stated Tom Doty, chairperson of CRASIF’s Board of Trustees and a commissioner at the Mackinac County Road Commission. “CRASIF’s Honor Roll recognizes member road commissions which make safety an integral part of their culture. Emphasizing safe operations and managing the risks of injury is a never-ending challenge.

"Lower injury rates also help Michigan taxpayers. Lower injury rates reduce workers’ compensation premiums which allows more of the taxpayer dollars to go directly to maintaining Michigan’s county road system.”

According to deSpelder, road commissions that have lower than average injury rates qualify to be on the CRASIF Honor Roll

"They should be publicly acknowledged for their achievement. Low injury rates benefit the employee, the taxpayer and the road commission," he said. "It is a win-win-win situation!"

Byron Rd. bridge work in Zeeland Twp. delayed

Bridge Bundling Dashboard

The Byron Road bridge project in Zeeland Township has been delayed until next year due to supplier issues.

Work on the Byron Road bridge is being made possible by the new Michigan pilot Bridge Bundling program.

The objective of the Bridge Bundling program is to eliminate the number of closed, serious or critical local agency bridges and bring them to a state of good repair, and to eventually reach zero critical bridges in Michigan.

The new Bridge Bundling pilot program encompasses 19 bridge locations across the state of Michigan.

Work on the Byron Road bridge will include full removal and replacement of the bridge deck and supporting beams.

For more information about the Michigan Bridge Bundling pilot program, visit the state of Michigan's interactive dashboard online.

Raking leaves into the road a "no-no" this fall


As a general reminder, we want to make sure everyone knows that when leaves are raked this fall, please keep them out of the road.

The Ottawa County Road Commission DOES NOT provide a leaf or yard debris pick up service during the fall months.

Instead, residents are encouraged to use a local refuse service, or if available, a township drop-off site to dispose of leaves.

Check with your local township offices to see if and when your township has leaf disposal hours this season.

Additionally, we ask that you keep leaves and other yard debris out of ditches and storm drains.

This is important to prevent flooding and to protect the water quality in our local streams and lakes in Ottawa County.

Residents are also reminded not to pile or blow their leaves into the street. Leaves piled in the street can be hazardous to both motorists and bicycles, particularly when wet.

Property owners are responsible and bear the liability for leaves that are placed improperly in the street, or cause safety or flooding hazards.

Be sure to shake your mailbox this month!


The Ottawa County Road Commission reminds residents to prepare for winter snow removal season ahead of time by shaking their mailboxes this month.

Over time, mailbox posts can rot or become wobbly. Shaking a mailbox allows residents to know if it is secure.

Snow from snowplows has a surprising force that can topple an unstable mailbox, so it’s important to make sure it’s placed securely in the ground.

Residents should prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and box are secure enough to endure large amounts of snow that is thrown. If the mailbox moves when shaken, the box may need to be repaired or replaced before winter.

More information about mailbox placement, instructions on building a temporary snow deflector and other helpful tips can be found on the "Resident Information" section of our website.