"The Road" Newsletter -- October 2022

The Road Newsletter Header 2020-1

October 2022 | Volume 12 | Issue 10 | Bookmark and Share

FY2023 budget, 2023-27 Strategic Improvement Plan approved by OCRC Board


The Ottawa County Road Commission has adopted its annual budget for the new fiscal year, which runs October 2022 to September 2023.

The Board approved the new budget during its meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 22.

This year's $62.3 million budget -- now available on our website for review --  was developed with anticipated Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) revenues of nearly $34.9 million.

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

Other revenues projected for the FY2023 budget include the countywide road millage, federal
and state funding programs, contributions from townships to local road improvement projects, permit fees, and sales of salvage equipment, materials, and other surplus assets.

These various funding sources allow the OCRC to perform myriad public infrastructure 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 FY2023 budget are as follows:

• MTF: $34.9 million
• Federal and State Grants: $10.2 million
• Countywide Road Millage: $7 million
• Township Contributions: $6 million

While the MTF is broken down into various components of our operating budget, other revenue sources go straight into road projects. These projects include preventative maintenance or road improvements.

The Board also approved the 2023-27 Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) at its Sept. 23 meeting. Updated annually, 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 road commission relies on input and comments from local governments and officials, as well as the general public, to help develop this plan each year.

The final 2023-27 SIP document is currently being finalized and will be available at the "Planning & Reports" section of the Road Commission website upon its completion.

Be sure to shake your mailbox this month!


Every year in October, the Ottawa County Road Commission joins road agencies across the state in reminding residents to prepare for winter snow removal by shaking their mailboxes.

VIDEO: Make sure to shake your mailbox

The purpose of shaking your mailbox: To make sure that your mailbox is sturdy enough to handle any snow that might hit the mailbox as a result of winter snow removal operations.

Over time, mailbox posts can deteriorate or rot and become wobbly. By shaking a mailbox, residents will know if the box and post are secure or if they need to be tightened up.

Snow that comes off of the blade of a snowplow has a surprising force that can topple an unstable mailbox.

With this in mind, homeowners 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, or the post does not seem secure in the ground, the box and/or post 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.

GVMC looking for input on transit priorities

GVMC Survey Announcement

The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) is kicking off the development of its next Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for the Grand Rapids region, which includes communities right here in eastern Ottawa County.

This plan will outline funding and priorities for all modes of transportation through 2050.
Let GVMC know your thoughts on the transportation system and how you’d like to see future transportation resources invested by taking their survey.

The survey is available through Nov. 11.

The five communities with the highest survey participation rates will be entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 beautification grant that will provide trees or green infrastructure at a location within that community.

Complete the survey and help your area win! Check out the GVMC survey competition dashboard to see the current response rates and take the survey: https://bit.ly/3eI718B

A reminder about election sign placement

Political Yard Sign

Election season means the arrival of political signs dotting the landscape across Ottawa County.

Per OCRC policy, political signs are not permitted within the road right-of-way. You’re free to place signs outside of this right of way area.

Political signs and other types of signs located in the right-of-way can cause problems for road workers and motorists.

While we do not actively go around removing signs, please note that we will take action if there are safety concerns, such as issues related to sight distance or general distraction of many signs in one location.

Townships and cities within Ottawa County may have more restrictive signage policies; therefore, we ask that you review each municipality’s regulations.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has a separate policy governing the placement of signs on state highways (i.e. US-, I-, M-routes). For information pertaining to MDOT’s policy, please contact MDOT’s Grand Region office at (616) 451-3091 or visit www.michigan.gov/mdot.

For more info about safely placing political signs, watch this video from the County Road Association of Michigan: https://youtu.be/FNRhsito7nA.

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


It's officially fall, and we want to make sure everyone knows that when leaves are raked that they are kept out of the road.

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

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 office 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.