The August primary ballot in St. Joseph County will be a bit more crowded following action Tuesday by the county’s board of commissioners.
The St. Joseph County Road Commission will present to voters a two-part request. The first asks for renewal of 1 mill for a 10-year period. The current mill has been in place a decade and expires at the end of the year. If approved, the renewal would generate about $1.9 million annually and continue to provide the Centreville-based agency a critical source of funding to maintain county roads.
In the face of declining help from the state and greater expenses in maintaining roadways, the road commission board decided to seek an additional 2 mills. That request, too, is a for a 10-year period. If approved, it would generate more than $3.8 million annually.
By protocol, both requests had to be approved by the county commission. Its members voted unanimously in support of the two measures.
Road commission engineer manager Christopher Bolt said the agency over the past 10 years has lost $2.5 million in funding, while costs continue to rise.
Bolt said he met earlier in the day with city managers Mike Hughes from Sturgis and Joe Bippus from Three Rivers to discuss road-related issues in and around the cities, as well as some type of a strategy.