Archived Story

Public input sought on possible road commission takeover

Published 1:14pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jim Curran, Berrien County Commissioner, wants to know what his constituents think about a proposal that would give commissioners control over the County Road Commission.

Curran came to Monday’s meeting of the Niles Charter Township board of trustees to spread the word about the proposal and get the trustees’ thoughts.

Public hearings on the matter are set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph; and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 at Berrien Township Hall, 8916 M-140, Berrien Center.

Legislation passed last year allows the Board of Commissioners to assume control of the road commission, but it must be done by Jan. 1, 2015.

Right now, the county commissioners only have the authority to appoint people to the road commission.

If the county commissioners take over, Curran said the road commission would become another department of the county, like the health department or sheriff’s department.

Curran said the board of commissioners believe the road commission is mismanaged.

From the garage foreman down, they are getting the job done. The problem is at the Napier Complex,” he said.

Township Supervisor Jim Stover said the board would take a position on the proposal by its next meeting.

Terry Eull, township clerk, said it would be a mistake if the county commissioners assumed control of the road commission.

“You wouldn’t be able to do the job any better because there isn’t any money,” Eull said.

Curran expects the county commissioners to vote on the issue early next month.

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