Brighton Township will now consider bonding private road improvement projects that are petitioned for by its residents.

Supervisor Patrick Michel placed the issue on the township board of trustees’ Monday night agenda, which sought an amendment to the municipality’s Special Assessment District, or SAD Parameters, policy. Under the amended policy, the township will offer non-financial support by using its full faith and credit to secure bonds for potential road projects in subdivisions looking to fix their roads through an SAD.

Michel told the board he’s been contacted by about four subdivisions interested in establishing their own SAD for road repairs. Michel feels the funding mechanism is low risk because 100% of the bonds will be paid back in coordination with residents’ property taxes. The belief that backing bonds for these projects is a minimal risk to the township is not based on past experiences, as board members are not sure if the municipality has done this before.

Michel says he has “little faith” that the Livingston County Road Commission or state will be able to provide funding for private road projects in the near future. Clerk Ann Bollin felt there were other options, like a revolving loan fund, but Michel maintained it would be a greater risk for the township to act as a bank.

Ultimately, the board voted 4-3 to approve the amendment to their policy. Residents can start the petition process this year and the board will consider bonding the projects brought forth during budget sessions. (DK)