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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fixing Chippewa Street

Work to rebuild the village of Shepherd's portion of Chippewa Street is likely to get under way later this summer.
The section of Shepherd Road between Pleasant Valley Road and North Street is in terrible shape -- just imagine how bad the road has to be to prompt authorities to put up signs warning "rough road." Part of the roadway is under the jurisdiction of the Isabella County Road Commission; that's called Shepherd Road. The other part, called Chippewa Street, belongs to the village.
The reason it hasn't been fixed: As always, money. Just putting another layer of asphalt on top of the pavement would be a temporary fix -- in a few years, it would be right back to the state it's in now. The whole thing needs to be taken out and rebuilt.
The village succeeded in getting state and federal money that would pay for 80 percent of the rebuild. It's that last 20 percent that's been a hangup.
First, Shepherd leaders tried to qualify the project under Gov. Jennifer Granholm's "Jobs Today" program, but it got hung up in the fine print of that program. Then the village asked the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation for the local matching money; no deal.
The village council now has decided it's run out of options to get other people to pay. Shepherd might have to cash in some certificates of deposit or pull money out of the general fund for the street work, but expect the construction to start later this summer.
That's on the village's part. The county road commission's portion, south of the village's, is budgeted for reconstruction in 2008.


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