Public Acts in the History of the Monroe County Road Commission
Public Act 283 of the Public Acts of 1909, particularly Chapter IV titled," County Road Law" was the basic legislation by which county road commissions were established. The statute provided that the county road system be established by referendum. The first meeting of the Board of County Road Commissioners of the County of Monroe was held May 8, 1913. Road Commissioners are appointed by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors under the authority stated in Section 6 of Chapter IV, aforesaid.
Duties of Road Commissioners
The function of the Board of County Road Commissioners stated in the statutory language found in Section 9 of Chapter IV is as follows:
"And the function of the board shall be limited to the formulation of policy and the performance of official duties imposed by law and delegated by the board of supervisors, and no member of the board of county road commissioners shall be employed individually in any other capacity by, or for any other duties with the board of county road commissioners".
The various and sundry "duties imposed by law" are set forth both with and without Public Act 283, aforesaid. Such additional duties provide the means for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public highways within the unincorporated areas of the county.
Public Act 130 of the Public Acts of 1931 is the Act by which the County Road Commissioners took jurisdiction of all public roads within the county, then existing, which had not theretofore taken into the county road system. By the terms of this Act, on April 1, 1936, all roads within the county lying outside the Municipal Corporate Limits of cities and villages became county roads.
Public Act 51 of the Public Acts of 1951 may generally be described as the funding Act for County Road Commissions. Within this Act is found the method for defining, "primary roads and local roads". Likewise, the formula for distribution of gas and weight taxes, along with licensing fees, is set forth. The Commission received the bulk of the monies required to perform its duties regarding the construction and maintenance of county roads from the foregoing source. It should be noted that the county had no jurisdiction over state trunk line highways. It would likewise, be noted that the Board may, by contract, assume maintenance obligations on state trunk line highways, which the Monroe County Board do.
Other funds available to the Board are such as may be paid by individual townships, under contract, by which specific work is performed on specific roads with the contracting township. Likewise, the County Board of Supervisors can and has done so, during the past several years, appropriated a sum annually equal to one-tenth (1/10) of one mill for use by the Road Commissions for bridge construction purposes. It is our understanding that taxes may be levied for road construction, however, this system of financing roads has never been used, and therefore, the details of such has never been explored. The commission may construct roads to be paid for by the levying of special assessments.
The Board of County Road Commissioners maintains a complete record of the proceedings of the Board, as well as complete records of the books and accounts pertaining to the Commission business. The Commission's monies are deposited with the Monroe County Treasurer, and are transferred to the Commission Account by voucher. In the same manner as other County Funds are disbursed. The books, records, and accounts of the Road Commission are audited not less than once annually, by the County Audit Division of the Department of Treasury, State of Michigan.
The Commission makes annual report to the Board of Supervisors, setting forth therein the business conducted by the Commission. The Commission also makes an annual report to the Michigan State Highway Department, setting forth the receipts and disbursements pertaining to all work and funds directed from all sources as prescribed in Section 14 of Public Act 51, aforesaid.
Dated: April 1, 1969
History of the Monroe County Road Commission
Following an election by the people, a County Road System was authorized and the County Board of Road Commissioners was organized in 1913 in accordance with provision of Act Number 283 of Public Acts of 1909, as amended. This system provides for a three member Board serving six years terms, staggered so that one ends every even numbered year. The Board of County Commissioners appoints and fixes the amount of compensation of the Road Commissioners.
The Board of County Road Commissioners is a separate corporate body, which holds title to real estate and is subject to suit in its own name. The function of the Board is to formulate policies to maintain and improve roads within the County system so that roads are convenient and safe for public travel.
The Board supervises the employment of staff personnel and a union workforce of more than 130 persons and the expenditure in excess of $4,500,000 to repair, grade, drain, maintain, and improve more than 424 miles of primary roads and 855 miles of local roads. In addition, the Board contracts with the State of Michigan for the maintenance of 124 miles in Federal and State Trunkline highways throughout the County.
The Board meets daily in the conduct of its business, which includes the establishment of varying weight restrictions, dependent upon road and weather conditions, establishment of traffic controls, participation in railroad crossing safety determinations, utilization of the right-of-way by utilities and others, approval or disapproval of plats, contracting with townships for joint improvement of local roads, improvement of bridges awarding of bids for all purchases of equipment in excess of $2,500, contracting with adjoining counties for the maintenance of county line roads, act as a contact in dealing with the public, other units of government, agencies, boards, civic groups and the business community. Serve as members or executive officers on several road associated committees and board such as: ICHC, SEMCOG, TMACOG, TRAPA, ASMRC and CRAM. The Board also undertakes as agent of the County the supervision and maintenance of parks and other tasks delegated to it from time to time by the Board of County Commissioners.
The Commission renders an annual report to the County Board of Commissioners showing an itemized statement of all monies received and disbursed by it, which statement is published in the report of the proceedings of the Board of Commissioners. It also annually accounts to the State Highway Department for all roadwork and funds expended and is audited by the State Highway Department and Department of Treasury. It also submits bi-annually a highway and street program based upon long-range plan for State Highway Approval.
Dated: October 11, 1974