Meeting Overview: Kalamazoo County Road Commission 2/1/22

Public Media Network provides a brief overview of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission meeting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

On Tuesday, February 1, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission met to discuss upcoming projects and vote on several new proposals. 


Following a decision made in January 2022, the Lake Street project has been postponed until 2023. The board voted to replace it with the 35th Street at Shadowlane Avenue Project.


 Construction is not expected to begin before fall of 2022 due to long lead times for materials, said Traffic and Project Engineer Jim Hoekstra. 


The board also voted to approve 2022 contracts for road maintenance. SW Transport received the contract for gravel services and JV Contracting Inc. received the contract for pavement markings. The pavement marking contract shows a 20 percent increase from 2021 pricing.


Brennan recently met with Kalamazoo County Commissioner Dale Shugars (R - District 9) and Representative Fred Upton. At the meeting they discussed usage of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and how to make those funds more accessible. According to the Michigan Department of Treasury website, ARPA “provides substantial funding to local governments” to assist with local fiscal losses due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 


Commissioner Larry Stehouwer visited the Comstock Township meeting last week and received feedback about salt and sand application during winter road maintenance. Stehouwer said the issue was addressed with contracted staff, but he also stressed the importance of filing electronic service requests. 


Stehouwer also reported that Comstock voted to approve the purchase of Nichols Landing for a new township hall location. 


Commissioner Michael Boersma reported that the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Advisory Council has not met, but the steering committee is proceeding with the 26th St. Project. 


Brad Lamberg has been appointed as representative to the board of directors for the Association of Southern Michigan Road Agencies (ASMCRA). Lamberg was the sole candidate and has previously served as President of the CRA.


Managing Director Joanna I. Johnson recommended the purchase of one master toolset and three mobile tool carts for the Mechanics and Road Maintenance Team. There are currently two open mechanic positions and one open apprenticeship. Johnson said these new toolkits will help with recruiting and retention of mechanics, and all board members voted to approve the purchase. 


After public comments about difficulty contacting the Commission with concerns, Board Chair Thom Brennan advised that community members should file an electronic service request through the Road Commission website to facilitate a quicker response. 


At the end of the meeting, the board voted to enter a closed session to discuss proposed labor negotiations.


Watch the Gavel to Gavel Coverage