The St. Joseph County Road Commission has announced seasonal road restrictions have been lifted.
The so-called frost law imposed speed and weight restrictions during the freeze-thaw cycle to help preserve the integrity of non-primary roadways.
The frost law was put into effect last month.
The St. Joseph County Transportation Authority is seeking approval for a millage-request renewal in August.
During Thursday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners’ executive committee meeting, CTA director Steve Yorks said the request would ask for renewal of 0.33 mills for a four-year period.
Committee members recommended the request appears before the board during its twice-a-month meeting Tuesday.
After it was established by voter approval in 2007, the millage was renewed by a 2-to-1 margin in 2010 for four years. Yorks said the 0.33 mills this year generated about $622,000 for the countywide transportation service.
The St. Joseph County Road Commission is expected to place a millage renewal before county voters during the August vote, as well.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has issued a press release regarding potholes caused by sub-zero temperatures and near-record snowfall.
MDOT officials said weather conditions are leading directly to severe potholes across the state, putting further strain on pavement and the efforts MDOT crews have put forth filling potholes during the various freeze-thaw cycles.
The extreme pothole season on top of this winter’s heavy snowfall is taking its toll on the department’s maintenance budget, MDOT officials said.
The agency’s maintenance budget for this winter is $88 million, based on the five-year winter average. Due to the severe winter weather, it is expecting to exceed that budget by about $40 million.
The public is encouraged to report potholes they find on state roads to a link on the MDOT website.
Thirty-five people took advantage of a free ride home New Year’s Eve and early New Year’s Day in St. Joseph County.
Thanks to the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority and a number of sponsors, the fifth New Year’s Eve Free Ride Home program saw a 13 percent increase in ridership from a year ago, when it attracted 31 participants.
The service started at 10 p.m. Tuesday and concluded at 4 a.m. Wednesday. CTA officials said 20 rides were provided by the bus designated for the Three Rivers area, while 15 people boarded the bus operating in the Sturgis area.
The most-popular pickup locations were the American Legions and Elks lodges in Three Rives and Sturgis, the In-Between bar and restaurant in White Pigeon Township, Paisano’s in Three Rivers and Cowboy Up in Mendon Township.
Past ridership numbers were 31 last year, 36 in 2011, 22 in 2009 and a record 37 in 2008. The service was not offered in 2010.
This year’s sponsors were Hackenberg-Schreiber Insurance; State Farm – Mary Beth Fluery Agency; Farm Bureau – Austin Cooper Agency; the In-Between; Three Rivers Elks; and Broadway North.
St. Joseph County’s 2014 fiscal-year budget was approved by the five-member St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
More than $16.7 million was set aside for county operations in 2014, an increase of more than $1.6 million from the amended 2013 fiscal year budget of $15.1 million.
Joni Smith, St. Joseph County’s director of finance, said in addition, the county has budgeted a transfer from the general-fund fund balance of $2 million to the county’s Building Improvement and Replacement fund.
The transfer, she said, is to set up a reserve to address the future facility needs in the county.
A review of the 2014 financial allocations show almost $2.3 million to the sheriff’s department, $2.2 million to the jail and turnkey, and $1 million to District Court. The allocations are increases from 2013 in all three cases.
The County’s appropriation to the road commission has increased from $70,000 to $191,000 for 2014. Smith said that is the only significant change in appropriations to outside agencies or organizations.
A 36-year-old Sturgis man with four outstanding warrants was arrested Monday following a brief vehicle pursuit in Sturgis.
State police said an attempt was made to stop the man at Fawn River and South Nottawa roads in Sturgis Township for an equipment violation.
The man failed to stop and drove into the Sturgis city limits, where he exited his vehicle on a dead-end street. The man fled on foot but was caught a short time later.
The suspect, whose name was not released, was charged with fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstruction and third offense driving on a suspended license.
His warrants were from St. Joseph and Branch counties and were for failure to appear, and misdemeanor and felony larceny.