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Schuitmaker talks road repair funding


LANSING (WKZO) -- State lawmakers are working to make sure county road commissions around Michigan are able to fix all of the potholes they'll be dealing with this spring. State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker says that the State House Appropriations Committee is currently looking at a bill passed by the Senate to release 100 million dollars to road commissions. She adds that west Michigan will get its fair share.

"Kalamazoo County will receive 838 thousand dollars with an additional 594 thousand split between cities, townships, and villages," Schuitmaker told WKZO. "Van Buren County will receieve 377 thousand with an additional 109 thosuand dollars going to municipalities."

Schuitmaker added that the local entities will have some control over how the funds are applied.

"The counties will be able to use it for winter road maintenance, pothole patching, crack sealing, emergency repairs, and bridge maintenance," Schuitmaker said.

Schuitmaker also told WKZO that state lawmakers have been hearing from residents about road problems causing damage to their cars. They're currently under some pressure to use part of a projected budget surplus of almost a billion dollars to fix the roads.

The 100 million dollar appropriation approved by the Michigan Senate is now in the House, and Schuitmaker suspects will be approved in that chamber quickly. She notes that it got bipartisan support in the Senate, as lawmakers from all over the state are well aware of how bad the roads are getting.