Changes to 2015 METRO Act Payments

The Michigan Municipal League has been asked to inform eligible municipalities that the 2015 METRO Act payments may be delayed by approximately 15 to 30 days, due to a change in state law transitioning the functions and responsibilities of the Metropolitan Extension Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight (METRO) Authority to the new Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA).

The transition process will have minimal impact on municipalities as all the provisions of the METRO Act, except for the administration of functions and responsibilities of the former METRO Authority, remain unchanged. The primary changes under the LCSA include:

1. Maintenance fee payments from telecommunication providers will be paid to the LCSA and deposited into an LCSA account maintained by Comerica Bank. Payments will not be deposited with the State of Michigan.

2. Comerica Bank will distribute METRO Act payments to municipalities on behalf of the LCSA.

3. Please Note: You will no longer receive METRO Act payments via State of Michigan warrants or electronic transfer. Payments by check or electronic transfer will be processed by Comerica Bank on behalf of the LCSA with a notation that payment is a METRO Act payment.

For more information and FAQ’s about the METRO Act functions of the LCSA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lcsa or e-mail LCSA at metroinfo@michigan.gov. The LCSA expects to create its own new website in the near future. Please click on the following link for a copy of the letter provided by LCSA. Changes to 2015 Metro Act Payments

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Michigan Municipal League to Host Safe Roads Symposium in Sterling Heights About Proposal 1

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

The Michigan Municipal League will host a Safe Roads Symposium on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The event will take place at the Velocity Collaboration Center, 6633 18 Mile Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314, and will be open to the public.

A panel of experts will break down the details and impacts of Proposal 1.

To view the official invitation, click here.

For more information please contact the Velocity Collaboration Center at 586-884-9322.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MDOT Local Agency Program Urges Submission of Projects

The FHWA is undergoing an effort to modernize the FMIS 4 system to FMIS 5. This development is scheduled to be deployed on April 13, 2015. MDOT has been informed by FHWA that access to FMIS will be unavailable between April 1st and April 13th as they prepare for this conversion. MDOT is doing everything it can to prepare for these deadlines, but please take note that the access and functionality of FMIS 5 beginning April 13th (as with any IT deployments) has the potential to be faulty or unresponsive.

MDOT is requesting that any needs related to an initiation or modification for a job phase after April 1st and for the month of April be submitted by COB March 27th to be processed by MDOT and FHWA by March 30th. We do not want to risk any letting schedules or have project expenditures ineligible for federal reimbursement resulting from an authorization not being in place.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Michigan Communities Pass Resolutions in Support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

Multiple Michigan communities have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads ballot item on May 5, but we need more to also declare their support.

So far the League has been informed that the following communities have passed Vote Yes on Proposal 1 resolutions: Clare, Elk Rapids, Lapeer, Norton Shores and Wakefield.

We expect many more resolutions to be approved over the next few weeks.

The Michigan Municipal League is encouraging its member communities to approve resolutions in support of Proposal 1 following the League board’s endorsement of the road funding plan in January. View a sample resolution here.

The League also is asking members to send their local media letters to the editor in support. Go here to view sample letters.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

We know that many people still have questions about Proposal 1 and in response we’ve posted this free webinar about the plan and why the League supports it. Check it out here.

Go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes web pages to get additional details, including talking points, neutral information, the official Proposal 1 ballot language, media coverage of the issue, and the amount of additional road revenue and constitution revenue sharing that would go to each community if Proposal 1 passes.

Join the Safe Roads Yes! coalition here.

(Note: Some have asked is it OK for my community to pass a vote yes resolution? Go here for details).

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

The Transportation Asset Management Council Requests Nominations for its Organizational and Individual Achievement Awards

A primary objective of Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC)
is to assist Act 51 agencies implement an asset management program for roads and
bridges under their jurisdiction. To this end, the TAMC has facilitated statewide
collection of system condition data, supported the development of tools and procedures,
and sponsored training and educational sessions in the practice of asset management.

To further aid Act 51 agencies, the TAMC has established the Organizational
Achievement Award to acknowledge those agencies that have incorporated the principles
of asset management and adopted an asset management plan to help guide their
investment decisions. In addition, the TAMC Awards Program provides agencies around
the state with excellent case examples to establish their own programs. All Act 51 road
agencies are eligible to be nominated for this award.

Additionally, the TAMC wants to recognize individuals providing outstanding support of
Asset Management and the TAMC. Nominees for the Individual Achievement Award can
include elected officials (state or local), support staff from state agencies, regional /
metropolitan planning organizations, county road commissions, local units of
government, the education community or other individuals involved in promoting
Michigan’s TAMC programs.

Further in information about the TAMC awards program can be found at the following link. TAMCAward_Criteria_2014

Nominations and/or any questions can be sent to Frank Kelley. He can be reached at KelleyF@michigan.gov or 517-373-211.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MDOT Local Bridge Program soliciting applications for Fiscal Year 2018

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is soliciting applications for candidate projects for the Local Bridge Program. Selected projects will be funded during the 2018 fiscal year. The deadline for application is May 5th.

The FY 2018 Local Bridge Program Call for Applications letter, new Asset Management Bridge Inventory Data and Maintenance Plan Spreadsheet and a new Capitol Scheduled Maintenance Cost Estimate Worksheet are posted below.

FY 2018 Local Bridge Program Call for Applications

Bridge Repair Cost Estimate Worksheet 2015

Capital Scheduled Maintenance Estimate Worksheet 2015

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MDOT to Send Out MI Travel Counts Survey

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), in cooperation with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), will administer a travel survey program call MI Travel Counts. Throughout the course of the yearlong study, thousands of randomly selected households will receive letters inviting them to participate in the survey. It is important that, if contacted, municipal officials can verify the legitimacy of the survey and encourage the participation of selected households.

MDOT has provided the following letter containing information on the survey. MI Travel Counts. Additional information about the study can be found here.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Comprehensive Transportation Solution Relies on Passage of Ballot Proposal

After a marathon final day of lame duck the House and the Senate were able to successfully put together the framework for a comprehensive long-term solution for investing in Michigan’s infrastructure. Although we would have liked the legislature to solve this problem independently, they approved a ballot proposal that will be put before the voters in May of 2015. This ballot proposal along with other statutory changes represents real investment in core areas that are critical to Michigan’s long term success. Below are the highlights of the transportation funding package.

Ballot Proposal:
– Raises sales and use tax from 6% to 7%
– Eliminates the sales tax on motor fuel
– Removes Higher Education from the School Aid Fund
– Amends the use tax distribution

Statutory Changes (Effective only if the ballot proposal passes):
– Switch to a percentage based wholesale tax on motor fuel and increase
– Increase the percentage based wholesale tax
– Changes to registration fees for vehicles and heavy trucks
– Transportation related reforms for warranties and competitive bidding on road projects
– Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
– Sales tax on internet sales (Main Street Fairness)

Net Impact of Changes in FY 2017-18
– $1.2 Billion in new revenue for roads
– $107 Million in new revenue for the Comprehensive Transportation fund for transit and rail
– $118 Million in new revenue for constitutional revenue sharing
– $394 Million in new revenue for the School Aid Fund
– $260 million in tax relief

A more detailed analysis will follow as additional information becomes available.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Problematic Rental Inspection Legislation Dies in the House

On the final day of session Senate Bill 313, sponsored by Senator Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc), was unable to secure final passage on the House floor.

This bill would would have lowered revenues rental inspection programs are able to collect and provide additional barriers to entry when attempting to inspect a tenants property.The League fully anticipate this legislation coming up again next year.

Thank to all of our members who reached out to their legislator explaining to them the harmful implications of this bill. You were the number one reason this bill was able to be stopped and your continued opposition to any future legislation that would have a similar affect will be needed to ensure we are able to provide a healthy and safe environment for the residents of our communities.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

FOIA Legislation Passes on Final Day

On the final day of session, the legislature  passed HB 4001, a bill that makes numerous changes to the FOIA law, making it more costly to comply and more punitive for local units of government if a mistake is made. The bill passed in bipartisan fashion.

While we recognize this version is vastly improved from the introduced version, we still had concerns at the end of the day and remained opposed.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League. She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.