(Times Herald, March 6, 2012)
Gov. Rick Snyder has given counties the power to dissolve their road commission, but neither St. Clair nor Sanilac county officials are considering it.
Supporters of Snyder’s move said the consolidation could eliminate duplicate administrative costs. Officials with both counties said they just don’t see the value.
“No one has identified any real benefit, financial or otherwise, to combine,” Sanilac County Administrator Kathy Dorman said
The county road commissions are composed of a board of appointed representatives - three in each county - administrative staff and operators. They have separate budges from the county and operate autonomously.
The fact that both county boards of commissioners are getting along with their respective road commissions also is a contributing factor.
“We’re very happy with our county road commission,” Bohm said. “We get nothing but compliments from our township supervisors; they’re very happy with the service they receive.”
St. Clair County Administrator Bill Kauffman and Jeff Bohm, chairman of the board of commissioners, said the relationship between the county and the road commission has been strained in the past, but the two work together well now.
He added that the three road commissioners make “a minimal amount of money” for the work that they do, and said absorbing the road commission would just be “another responsibility the commissioners would have.”
The St. Clair County Road Commission commands a $22.6 million budget, which is composed of Michigan Transportation Funds, state maintenance funds and township contributions. Sanilac County maintains its roads with a $7.6 million budget. The funds are based in part on a county’s population.
Kirk Weston, director of the St. Clair County Road Commission, said that while he understands the impetus behind the governor’s choice, he’s not sure that it would do any good here.
“They were looking for efficiencies, and I don’t know that there are any in this case,” he said. “There may be in other road commissions, but we communicate regularly with the county.”
Tree trimming in St. Clair County
Members of the St. Clair County road Commission and Owen Tree Service remove overgrown branches Monday along West Water Street in Port Huron Township.

Relationship on easy street

Counties have no plans to abolish area road commissions
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