Niles Charter Township approves 2023 road department agreement

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

NILES CHARTER TOWNSHIP  — Select township streets in need of repairs and improvements will soon receive proper maintenance.

The Niles Charter Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved its 2023 road agreement with the Berrien County Road Department for the county’s Local Road Matching Fund Program.

The program will allocate $1,500,000 in funds to all 22 townships in Berrien County based on road mileage and population, consistent with the distribution formula used by the Michigan Department of Transportation to allocate local road funds to the 83 counties in Michigan. 

With a population of 14,417 and 92 total miles of county roads, Niles Charter Township received the most funding – $171,233 – of any township.

To receive local road matching funds, Niles Charter Township must match $171,233 in funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis, for a total of $342,466 going toward township roads. The source of the township’s matching funds may be from its general fund, road millage, property owners’ special assessment contributions, or unique private/public contributions.
The road department will supervise and direct road projects and shall be solely responsible for all aspects of road projects. Niles Charter Township will not be responsible for any project cost overruns unless Township attributes to a change in scope or additional pay items not included in the bid.

According to the road department, hard surfaced local network connector roads are eligible for matching funds. Non-network connecting roads – subdivisions and dead ends – are not eligible until the local network connector roads have met the pavement condition goal of 75 percent good/fair. Gravel roads are not eligible for matching funds.

Trustee Herschel Hoese said that while he believes matching the road department’s funds and repairing network connector roads are important for the township, he expressed his desire to see township subdivisions get needed funding and attention.

“I hope that in the very near future we can start putting subdivisions (in the road matching funds),” he said.

“There are streets like Beeson that haven’t had anything but potholes since I moved there back in 1986,” added Treasurer Jim Ringler. “There’s more potholes than there is original pavement… Somewhere down the line as we keep throwing in half of $384,000, something has to be done with these roads. You don’t need a complete redo, but it’s got to have something done with it.”

2023 Niles Charter Township road projects:

Bond Street (US-12 to Bertrand Road)

Fifteenth Street (Fort Street to Oakdale Street)

Morris Drive (Philip Road to pavement joint)

Pucker Street Dive (M-139 to dirt)

Seventeenth Street (Fulkerson Road to Bertrand Road)

Airport Road (Lake Street to Terminal Road)

Twenty-First Street (Fulkerson Road to Bertrand Road)