by Lynn Meredith
For the first time since no one is sure when, Virgil Township will get more money to pay for upkeep on its roads. The rate has stayed at $.16 per $100 of estimated assessed valuation since at least 1930. The Virgil Township Road Referendum passed on April 7 by a margin of 16 votes, 213 to 197.
â€œI wasn’t so sure with this economy. It shocked me. It will make life a little easier,â€ Road Commissioner Larry Peterson said. â€œI want to say thanks to the voters for supporting me in our referendum. This will mean a $45,000 increase in our budget.â€
Peterson cautions voters not to expect all new blacktop roads in the township. He said that the new money will free up the budget to help keep the roads from deteriorating further.
â€œWhat it’ll do is almost 100 percent go directly into roads. It will not go to increase our fuel budget or our wages,â€ Peterson said. â€œOur gravel roads need so much gravel.â€
Peterson said that with 22 miles of gravel roads and costs of $11,000 per mile of two-inch thick gravel, the money is desperately needed. He said most roads would really need six inches laid down.
Winters Road will be the project this year and for the next three years. It costs $50,000 each year to blacktop one and one-tenth mile. The referendum money will pay for next year’s black-topping.
â€œThings are good in the township,â€ Peterson said. â€œI look forward to the next four years to be able to show some improvements.â€