Niles Twp. residents propose own road fix

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Mission Hills subdivision in Niles Charter Township is one step closer to having its crumbling roads repaved.

Several residents living in the subdivision attended Monday’s regular meeting of the township’s board of trustees to give board members and update on the progress being made to get their roads fixed.

Resident Richard Appelget said he and other Mission Hills residents recently sent petitions to other residents in the subdivision to gauge interest in having the roads fixed.

“It is something that needs to be done,” Appelget said. “We’ve had tremendous support from everyone we’ve talked to in our neighborhoods. They are all for getting them fixed and helping pay for some of those repairs.”

Appelget said he plans to turn in the petitions to the township this week and asked if there is anything else they could do to expedite the process.

Clerk Terry Eull said once the township receives the petitions, they would begin the process of creating a special assessment district for road improvements through public act 188.

“It does take a little bit of time,” Eull said.

Supervisor Jim Stover said the estimated cost for fixing the roads in the subdivision is $299,800.

The next step, Eull said, is for the township to create a formal petition that would be sent to all owners of properties who have frontage on the roads in the subdivision.

The petition will include the cost of the road project for each property owner.

A majority of property owners based on road frontage is necessary for the project to move forward.

“That will be for everybody that is affected and will be required to pay if it does follow through,” he said, adding that the property owners would be billed for the amount.

Before the township can create the petition, the board must decide how much it will contribute to the project. Township Treasurer Jim Ringler said they’ve contributed 20 percent in the past, but might increase that percentage.

The board is expected to vote on the percentage at its next meeting Nov. 16.

The Mission Hills subdivision is located west of the City of Niles off Niles-Buchanan Road in the area of Carey Mission Road.

The Berrien County Road Commission is the entity responsible for fixing roads in Niles Township, but the commission’s director has said that there is not enough funding to fix all the roads, especially less traveled ones, like subdivisions.