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Welcome to SEMCOG's Think Regional/Act Local blog! SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county regions 4.7 million residents. With this regional perspective in mind, we work with member local governments to sustain our regions reputation as a great place to work, play, and do business.

 

Our panel of SEMCOG staff bloggers will post daily to this blog, discussing SEMCOG's data, federal and state legislative issues, and environmental and fiscal sustainability best practices for local governments all with the goal of creating a successful future for the region.

 

 

Think Regional/Act Local

Rise and fall of vehicle miles traveled

(Data, Transportation) Permanent link


June 28, 2012 — Annual trends in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are reported for the Southeast Michigan region each year by SEMCOG. Last year SEMCOG reported an increase in VMT from 2009 to 2010, the first increase since the sharp decline from 2005 to 2009. This year, SEMCOG will be reporting on VMT change and as we wait I wonder is it up? Is it down? I start to think how my personal travel has changed over the years. Well, to make a long story short last year in August I decided to try and take a bus to work, the 255 Ford Road Express. My experience was really good and almost 11 months later I’m still on the bus, which means that there is one less car on the road – mine. So how many other individuals in our region made changes? The numbers show that changes were made and, as much as we look at numbers, these numbers translate into human beings. So what changes have you made? Unfortunately not all changes are voluntary – some individuals in our region lost their jobs, or cars. Others relocated outside the region. Regardless each drop (or increase) in the VMT numbers has a story behind it. As a data analyst, sometimes I look at the numbers and say, wow, this is a statistic but I wonder what the story behind the statistic is. I can make up any story but would like to hear yours. What is your story and where do you fall on this chart?

 

SEMIDailyVMT(2005-2010)

 

 

Chade Saghir
Chade Saghir is senior planning in SEMCOG’s data analysis group. Chade’s focus is on collecting, managing, and analyzing traffic data. Chade manages SEMCOG traffic count database which has over 20,000 traffic count locations from across the region and can be accessed on SEMCOG’s Web site at www.semcog.org/TrafficCounts.aspx.

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Looking for an excellent stormwater program to model…check with Hazel Park

(Best Practice, Stormwater management) Permanent link

All communities with a state stormwater permit will be audited by the state sometime in the next few years (if you haven’t been already). Any type of regulatory audit can cause apprehension, fear, and anxiety, but if you spend some time organizing and preparing your stormwater program, you will find that it’s really not that bad. Just ask the City of Hazel Park.

 

“Our recordkeeping is excellent,” says Tim Young, the Water and Sewer Department Foreman who oversees the stormwater permit for the city. They keep track of everything, from taking photos of their stormwater educational materials out at events, to creating colored sectioned maps of the city for their street sweeping schedule (which is performed weekly). While documenting things can normally be a burden (and interfere with your important day-to-day work), Tim has found a way to incorporate recordkeeping into his regular work, minimizing the need to scramble for audits and annual reports.

 

Hazel Park has also stepped up their public education efforts of stormwater impacts. While they appreciate the regional and watershed-wide publications that have been created by SEMCOG, they wanted to be able to tailor the message specific to Hazel Park residents. So, they created their own brochure, City of Hazel Park Watershed & You! and a set of videos on YouTube (City of Hazel Park Watershed Part 1 and City of Hazel Park Watershed Part 2).

 

How can you create an organized stormwater program and be more prepared for an audit? Start small, give SEMCOG a call, or call Tim Young at Hazel Park. He has great insight from the perspective of a water and sewer foreman, with many responsibilities besides environmental protection, into creating a great stormwater program.

 

Amy Mangus
You can leverage your SEMCOG membership to help your local government become more sustainable and effective. Amy’s posts will focus on SEMCOG’s member services.

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Does Economy of Scale Apply to Local Government?

(Best Practice, Collaboration, Data, Efficiency, Right-sizing) Permanent link


June 26, 2012 — In the business world, bigger is normally considered better from a cost efficiency perspective because lower prices are realized from volume purchases of goods and services. However, our analysis of local governments across the region shows economy of scale is not being fully leveraged. For example, the scatter chart below from Munetrix, SEMCOG’s Fiscal Database, shows efficiency versus size for all the cities in the SEMCOG region. The horizontal axis represents the range of city budgets from largest to smallest and the vertical axis represents the relative efficiency of local governments in terms of budget divided by population (cost per capita). Note that the most efficient cities near the $1000 benchmark line represent local governments from large to small, with efficiency essentially independent from size. Another factor is the quality and level of Service delivery, which also varies from city to city and contributes to more scatter in the data.

 

SpendingPerCapita
 
So how does your local government stack up to this quick analysis? Are you near the benchmark or way above it? The best way for a city to leverage economy of scale is through collaboration and shared services, as the collective entity can procure goods and services at lower costs through larger volume buys just like the business sector. Get started today by tapping into these joint purchasing consortiums: MiDeal, MITN, and HGAC. Each provides discounts on goods and services by leveraging the combined negotiating and purchasing power of the State and Regional Bidding Systems.
For SEMCOG members, no cost fiscal and operational assistance is available to more fully leverage your economy of scale opportunities by contacting Dave Boerger.

 

Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and providing information on right-sizing. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

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Not the golfer or the baseball team, but there are TIGER problems

(Legislation, Transportation) Permanent link

June 25, 2012 – Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the latest round of projects funded with the TIGER funding. They announced over $500 million of transportation projects – and Michigan received just over $11 million. A transit project on the west side of the state was awarded $1.3 million and Detroit received $10 million for a bike/pedestrian project in the city. Last year, Michigan was awarded one project for less than $10 million – that is less than $20 million dollars out of over $1 billion of TIGER grants awarded to Michigan in the last two years! I have lots of concerns about this program.

 

I would like to know who rated our projects and why these were selected over other excellent projects that I know were submitted. Canton Township submitted a project on I-275 and Ford Road, a location that experiences the most traffic crashes in Southeast Michigan and maybe in the entire state. The City of Auburn Hills submitted an innovative bridge project that is vital to the businesses in the area. Yet, these projects were not funded – and they have been submitted year after year for funding.

 

I have no problem with the project that was selected, but why not one of these as well? The feds spend a lot of money requiring SEMCOG to work with transportation agencies to develop priorities among all the needs there are and then to work to fund those priorities – and then they come in and fund one good project, a good project for only $10 million that is not the highest priority in our region.

 

I don’t like this program, don’t know how they score the projects, and can’t help thinking we should be doing better. Secretary LaHood has talked about TIGER 5. I would rather see the money allocated by formula than another TIGER program. What do you think?

 

Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

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General Assembly great time to see members

(Collaboration, Regionalism) Permanent link

June 25, 2012 — I always look forward to our General Assemblies when we get together with our members.

 

The June General Assembly is especially exciting. It is mostly ceremonial…Mayor Dave Bing will be on hand to welcome us to Detroit. There are elections of new officers and we’ll hear the remarks of the incoming Chair. We’ll honor this year’s Regional Ambassadors – SEMCOG’s highest award recognizing individuals and organizations for their unique contributions to the quality of life in Southeast Michigan.

 

And we’ll take the time to talk about the year’s accomplishments. When viewed as a whole, it is always quite substantial. It makes me proud to be leading this organization. We are making progress. Our members are doing great things. They are collaborating with neighbors. The region is improving. Small steps, but important progress.

 

This year, the General Assembly will be held at Ford Field. Before the meeting, our members will have the chance to tour Ford Field and get some behind-the-scenes glimpses of one of our region’s great assets. Keeping with the football theme, at dinner we’ll hear from former Lion great Herman Moore. His picture hangs prominently in the Hall of Legends where our meeting will be held.

 

I look forward to seeing many old friends. The dinner honors our past chairs. And I’m excited to welcome a new Chair and some new officers, as well as to greet our members. It will be a great time.

 

Paul Tait
Paul Tait joined SEMCOG in 1972 and has served in a variety of planning and administrative capacities – becoming Executive Director in 1998. This experience gives Paul a rich perspective on the past, present, and future of our region. Please join him as he blogs about issues of importance to the region’s local governments and residents. Paul is also president of SEMCOG’s partner organization – the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC) – a coalition of business, labor, government and education.

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It’s festival season!

(Environment, Public outreach) Permanent link

June 22, 2012 — Come out to the Green Living Festival in downtown Rochester on June 22nd and 23rd from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. SEMCOG will have a booth promoting our public outreach programs Mirideshare, Ours to Protect, and Ozone Action. Please come support us!

 

The Green Living Festival is one of the largest green/wellness events on the planet. This great community event celebrates the efforts of local businesses and community organizations to grow a brighter, greener future. The festival offers a wide variety of exhibits, attractions, and activities, free to all ages.


 

Grant Brooks
In order to create a successful future for Southeast Michigan, we must have an educated and engaged public. Grant’s blog posts will focus on important messages for residents on how their daily habits can improve quality of life for themselves and their neighbors.

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Rating the roads – making the case

 Permanent link


June 21, 2012 – You have undoubtedly heard SEMCOG’s plea for additional road funding at the state and federal level. Did you know that we make this plea based on real-time data? Every year since 2003, major roads in Southeast Michigan are driven and rated for their pavement condition. SEMCOG’s road raters have driven 79,600 miles in these nine years.

 

SEMCOG is part of a road rating team that includes transportation experts from the state, the seven counties, and Detroit. These teams collect road condition data on the 8,000 miles of paved federal-aid roads in the region. Over the years, a familiar pattern has emerged – the condition of roads has steadily declined.

 

Condition of Federal-Aid Roads
FederalAidRaodsCondition


SEMCOG works with the state’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC) to incorporate asset management principles for maintaining the region’s infrastructure. We provide data to all of the area's communities, to help them make decisions and prioritize how to spend scarce funds. We also use this data to tell our representatives in Lansing and Washington that without additional funding we will never reverse the pattern of declining road conditions. So if you see a road rating crew on the road, wave to them – and then call your legislators and make the case for additional funding!


 

Ed Hug
Edward is a planner in SEMCOG’s Data Analysis Group. When Ed isn’t collecting road condition data, he performs analysis the condition of the region’s infrastructure and helps communities develop their own asset management programs.

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Our neighborhoods are changing…SEMCOG can help

(Best Practice, Census, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link


June 20, 2012 – In talking to local governments across Southeast Michigan, creating and maintaining quality neighborhoods for their residents to live and enjoy remains a key function. An important step is to understand the changes that have occurred. These changes may be positive (construction of new housing; rehabilitation of existing housing) or negative (increase in vacant/abandoned homes; drastic decline in housing values). By understanding these changes, communities can implement proven neighborhood strategies that work.

 

SEMCOG can help through the use of Community Map Books, which provide a graphic overview of selected demographic information from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing.

 

The City of Warren, with assistance from SEMCOG, is using Community Map Books – specifically 2000-2010 Population Change2000-2010 Vacancy Change, and Neighborhood Stability – to not only understand, but also respond to neighborhood changes. The city’s neighborhoods, like many throughout the region, have experienced much change as a result of the national foreclosure crisis and the transitioning regional economy. Using Community Map Books, along with local foreclosure, crime, and abandonment data, the city is proactively targeting code enforcement activities and implementing neighborhood improvement ordinances, including vacant property and rental registration ordinances, to help stabilize neighborhoods.

 

Neighborhood

 

Jim Hartley, Administrative Supervisor at the City of Warren, states, “SEMCOG’s technical assistance in understanding and developing responses to neighborhood changes in the city has been of great help as the city continues to address the impacts of foreclosures on our residents.”

 

SEMCOG can assist your community in developing neighborhood and property maintenance tools to strategically address the negative impacts of foreclosure and vacancy. For more information on how SEMCOG can assist your community, visit SEMCOG's Neighborhood Stabilization Web page.


 

Amy Mangus
You can leverage your SEMCOG membership to help your local government become more sustainable and effective. Amy’s posts will focus on SEMCOG’s member services.

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Not too early to think about winter maintenance!

(Best Practice, Collaboration, Efficiency, Environment, Regionalism, Right-sizing, Transportation) Permanent link


June 19, 2012 — With Ozone Action Days popping up right and left this summer, to cool things off a bit, let’s talk about Winter Maintenance success stories from around the region. Besides, now is the optimum time to plan ahead for next winter’s maintenance challenges.

 

City of Auburn Hills Winter Maintenance Efficiencies
Snowplow
Winter road maintenance programs challenge local governments for many reasons – rising salt costs, selecting effective deicing products, rising fuel costs, reduced staff, and budget constraints. There are additional concerns over the impact deicing materials can have on the environment and infrastructure. Auburn Hills has implemented some innovative practices. Despite salt price increases of $17.67/ton, or 62 percent over recent years, new winter operation procedures have lowered their deicing product expenses from $105,723 to $65,419 (38 percent savings) since 2008 while concurrently improving deicing capabilities. New procedures implemented include:

  • Install Pre-wet systems on salt trucks to spray water on the salt at a rate of 12-16 gallons per ton of salt just before applying to the roadway
  • Blade off all moisture on the roadway prior to salting
  • Reduce salt application rate from 800 lbs. to 400 lbs. per lane mile
  • Expand training program and simplified procedures

For more information, contact Don Grice, Deputy Director, Auburn Hills Department of Public Services, 1827 N. Squirrel Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326, (248) 370-9400,eE-mail: dgrice@auburnhills.org
And click the following links from SEMCOG’s AgileGov searchable database for more winter deicing savings ideas:

Stay cool this summer and plan ahead for next winter now! SEMCOG is very involved with bringing our member communities together to talk about best practices in winter road maintenance. In fact, Auburn Hills hosted last year’s SEMCOG University workshop on this topic. This year’s winter road maintenance workshop will be hosted by the City of Novi and held on September 27. More details and a save the date notice will be sent out in July.

 

SEMCOG members: for no-cost fiscal and operation assistance, contact me at Boerger@semcog.org.


 

Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and providing information on right-sizing. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

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Down the stretch they come…

(Legislation, Transportation) Permanent link


June 18, 2012 — You know, I think it is really hard to strike a deal with someone after you have called them militant, radical, and extremist. Yet that is exactly what a democratic senator called conservative house republican members of the conference committee trying to develop a 15-month transportation bill. There are now less than two weeks remaining in the current short-term extension of SAFETEA-LU. The legislation either has to be extended or a new bill developed and passed prior to June 30, or the bill and funding lapses – in an election year, no less!

 

This is beginning to sound like a new chapter of the blame game. Each side blaming the other for stalled negotiation, negotiating in bad faith, and just not willing to go as far as the other side. Republicans want to ease environmental and regulatory review and want to restrict the use of the transportation enhancement program. Republicans also have tied the Keystone pipeline to the reauthorization proposal.

 

Democrats have threatened to just pass their Senate bill and count on the fact that it received strong bipartisan support in the senate. Many think if it gets introduced to the House, it will pass.

 

horse-race-10ed08

 

And so it goes. Fourteen days and we are still name-calling with a long-term solution out of sight. Sometimes, I hate it when I am right and this looks like one of those times. Look for a six-month extension to the end of the calendar year and then another one until early 2013. This Congress can’t get it done – let’s hope the next Congress can!

 

Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

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When will the housing market recover? (And what may recovery look like?)

(Census, Data) Permanent link


A couple new reports shed light on where the U.S. housing market is headed and what a recovery may look like.  Last week, I had a chance to sit in on a webinar sponsored by S&P Indices where the panel believed a housing recovery could still be a few years off. That being said, recent indicators suggest the stage is being set for a recovery to take hold.  Housing affordability is near record highs and the job market is growing (although slowly). Excess housing supply is falling and so too are the number of foreclosures.

 

With a healthier national market, what does this mean for Southeast Michigan? I think what I said in our 2011 Community Fiscal Capacities still holds true. We are certainly affordable; however our job market needs to improve. Our state’s foreclosure inventory is dropping and recent home price indices show the region’s prices close to a bottom. Prices will rebound (slowly) once there is sustained job growth and there is further decline in negative equity rates and foreclosures in the market.

 

So what may a recovery look like?  That leads me to the second report. The Demand Institute just published “The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand” and they have some intriguing findings. They believe the recovery will be led by demand from buyers for rental properties. More than 50 percent of people planning to move in the next two years intend to rent – young people and immigrants especially.

 

The Demand Institute also believes the recovery will not be uniform across the country. Factors like foreclosure inventory and unemployment rates will have a major impact on how local and state markets perform. Additionally, they believe local amenities – like accessibility to public transit - will influence prices.

 

Brian Parthum
Brian analyzes Southeast Michigan's economy. As part of SEMCOG's Data Analysis Group, Brian helps local governments understand what the latest employment and economic trends mean to them.

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Fast Track 911 Dispatch Collaboration

(Best Practice, Collaboration, Efficiency, Regionalism, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link


Sharing 911 dispatch can be one of the most cost effective and easy to implement collaborative arrangements possible. We have helped many communities analyze the viability of such arrangements, and have facilitated the implementation of several projects. One example is between the cities of Wayne and Garden City. From concept to full implementation only took 6 months and the results have been phenomenal as indicated in the chart below excerpted from a SEMCOG Webinar about dispatch collaboration. And read more about Wayne’s latest efforts to share services with the City of Westland in this June 12, 2012, Free Press article. And finally, if your local government is a SEMCOG member, contact me (boerger@semcog.org) for no cost help assessing the viability of similar shared service arrangements with your neighboring communities.

 

Wayne-GardenCityDispatchCollabBW

 

Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and providing information on right-sizing. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

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Are we finally building a bridge?

(Regionalism, Transportation) Permanent link


There are lots of transportation issues to write about these days. Should the Federal Transit Administration provide M-1 Rail with a $25 million TIGER Grant? The federal transportation funding bill – SAFETEA-LU – is rapidly drawing to the end of yet another short term extension. Are we going to get a long term bill? What about the Regional Transit Authority, or RTA bills? Good issues and all very important issues. However, there is another big one out there that has been off the radar for a while, but may be making a comeback – the proposed New International Trade Crossing project.

 

There was a report last week that Governor Snyder is at least considering bypassing the state legislature in order to build a second span across the Detroit River. Crain’s Detroit Business reported that Snyder is looking at using the power of an inter-local agreement to activate plans, which have been in the works for a few years now.

 

Snyder would turn to the Michigan Strategic Fund, an economic development board, to partner with Canada. It would be an innovative way of moving an important economic development project. If this is, in fact, the direction he is heading in, I applaud the governor for finding an innovative approach to getting this bridge built. This new bridge needs to be built and built soon.  The economy of our region is in many ways dependent on a bridge structure in excess of 80 years old and getting older every day.  The sooner the new bridge is built, the sooner the existing bridge can either be improved or replaced, guaranteeing redundancy and protecting our place as one of the most important freight gateways in the country and the world.

 

Let’s do it!


 

Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

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Slower growth and less decentralization

(Data, Right-sizing) Permanent link


By now you probably have heard from us multiple times about the slow-growth trend in our demographic and socio-economic forecast. We are predicting a small increase of 110,000 (or 6%) households in 30 years from 2010 to 2040 in our region. By contrast, the region added 146,000 (or 9%) households in just 10 years from 1990 to 2000. What I would like to add to this comparison of the past and future is that we’ll experience not only slower growth, but also less decentralization (or “sprawl”). In the last 30 years, Detroit lost nearly a half million people. That will definitely not be repeated in the next 30 years. Detroit population will eventually stabilize, as we forecast (Figure 1). Meanwhile, growth in the suburbs has slowed down dramatically and will not return to the pre-“great-recession” level anytime soon.

 

Figure 1: Detroit Population History and Forecast
DetroitPopulationHistoryForecast
 

The maps below further illustrate the slow down of decentralization. The map on the left shows what happened in the last 20 years. This was the reality we faced. The City of Detroit was losing 5,231 households a year on average, which was more than 14 households per day. At the same time, Macomb Township led the gains, with 962 annually (2.6 per day). The map on right shows what we forecast for the next 30 years. Detroit’s loss of households will improve evenly, reducing from 5,231 to only 460 annually, on average. In other words, the rate of decline in the next 30 years is less than one-tenth of the rate in the last 20 years. At the same time, the growth rate of the suburban communities will be significantly slower.

 

Figure 2: Average Annual Household Change by Community (1990-2000)
HouseholdChange1990-2010

 

Figure 3: Average Annual Household Change by Community (2010-2040)
HouseholdChange2010-2040

 

Xuan Liu
Interested in knowing how SEMCOG’s data impacts local governments and residents in Southeast Michigan? Then, you’ll want to read Xuan’s weekly posts.

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Green in Detroit

(Best Practice, Environment, Green infrastructure, Right-sizing, Stormwater management) Permanent link


Walking around Myra Jessie’s community garden with Dan Wyant, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and hearing her story as a resident of Brightmoor (one of Detroit’s more blighted areas) again reinforced that community gardens, forests, and meadows (sometimes called Green Infrastructure) are an important part of this region’s success – not just from an environmental perspective.

 

BrightmoorGarden

 

Residents of the Brightmoor neighborhood started this community garden to promote economic self-sufficiency and beautify their community. This and other community gardens throughout Detroit inspired the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to build on momentum of committed residents and expand the use of green techniques as a way to curb stormwater run-off that pollutes our rivers and lakes.

 

Director Wyant asked to see Brightmoor because SEMCOG is working with DWSD and MDEQ on implementing green techniques that will meet the State’s stormwater permit requirements and curb pollution to the Rouge River – a great way to reduce pollution if you ask me.

 

DWSD will be implementing millions of dollars in greening techniques in this area over the next 20 years. Who knows… maybe Myra’s garden will expand to a whole orchard!

 

Amy Mangus
You can leverage your SEMCOG membership to help your local government become more sustainable and effective. Amy’s posts will focus on SEMCOG’s member services.

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Another year, another $1 billion!

(Efficiency, Legislation, Transportation) Permanent link


Well, business and political leadership was up on Mackinac Island last week for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Annual Policy Conference. One of the first big pieces of news from the conference was that the package of bills that would raise over $1 billion in additional transportation revenues for badly needed projects would not happen until 2013. Why? Because there are precious few days remaining prior to the summer break, plus the fear of raising taxes and fees in an election year. The next state legislature will have to deal with this issue.

 

I guess this could have and should have been predicted. What bothers me most about all of this is that the legislators still do not understand that by waiting, we are not saving dollars, just increasing the size and the cost of the job that has to be done. It will take longer and cost more to fix our highway and transit problems. The Transportation Asset Management Council has data that indicates that for every year we fail to address our pavement and bridge needs, it will cost us about an additional $1 billion to fix! Incredible! The legislature’s failure to act will cost us an additional billion dollars! Their failure to act last year cost us another billion dollars and if they don’t act next year, it will be another billion dollars.

 

How many billion more will it take until the light goes on and the legislature increases resources? Both sides of the aisle claim to worry about the size of the deficit we are leaving our children. This action tells me otherwise. The governor gets it. He proposed and supports the increase of $1.4 billion for additional transportation needs. When will the legislature?

 

Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

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City of Novi Reduces Millage Rates/2012 EVIP Grant Award Winners

(Best Practice, Collaboration, Efficiency, Regionalism, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link

City of Novi Reduces Millage Rates
Recent approval of the 2012-13 municipal budget for the City of Novi includes a Millage reduction, one of a few communities in the State to do so. City Manager Clay Pearson’s letter to Novi residents provides additional information. To quote Clay in an email to SEMCOG, “We are trying to make the region stronger and enjoy the tie-ins to the wider community of communities.”

 

2012 EVIP Grant Award Winners
As indicated in last week’s blog, the June 15th deadline to apply for the second wave of 2012 shared service grants as part of the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP) is fast approaching. We’ve been working with the following communities that have successfully applied for and were awarded 2012 EVIP grants:

  • Dearborn-EVIP Grant - Dearborn was granted $25,000 to fund its Feasibility Study-Tax Administration Services.
  • Farmington Hills-EVIP Grant - Farmington Hills was granted $148,250 to fund its Combined Public Safety Dispatch & Jail Project
  • Washtenaw County-EVIP Grant - Washtenaw County was granted $177,500 for the Washtenaw Metro Dispatch.
  • Waterford Township-EVIP - Waterford Township was granted $567,500 for the Waterford/Pontiac Fire Services Consolidation.
  • Grosse Pointe-EVIP Grant - Grosse Pointe was granted $20,000 for the Public Safety Department Consolidation Study and $300,000 for the Grosse Pointe Dispatch Consolidation.
  • Pleasant Ridge-EVIP Grant - Pleasant Ridge was granted $132,000 to fund the Pleasant Ridge/Berkley Public Safety Merger.
  • Trenton-EVIP Grant - Trenton was granted $239,750 for the Combined Dispatch Center & Prisoner Lockup Facility.
  • Westland-EVIP Grant – Westland and surrounding communities was granted $8,750 for the District Court Consolidation.

SEMCOG can provide grant writing training for your staff and has archived webinars on the EVIP process as well. Look for future webinars on the 2013 EVIP process once finalized by the State Treasury. Contact me via e-mail (boerger@semcog.org) for more information.

 

Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and providing information on right-sizing. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

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