Road Repaving Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find many of the questions that people have asked about the road repaving project for the Stillmeadow Subdivision.  This page will be updated regularly, so please check back.  If you have a question you don't see answered on this page, please feel free to contact the Stillmeadow HOA Board.

Responses to the questions raised in the road survey are based on research performed by the Homeowners Association Board and information obtained from the Bloomfield Township web site. The Board is not an authority on Special Assessment Districts. It encourages residents to do their own research and investigation and to form their own opinions. Township Road Funding Page

FAQS

What's the status of the road repaving project?

The online survey to determine the overall interest in repaving the roads has been completed and the results have been reviewed.  A letter and answers to some of the questions in the survey has been sent out.  That letter and many of those questions are also posted on this site.  The next step is the preparation and signing of an official Expression of Interest document to take to the Township to begin the estimate process.

Is it imperative that this assessment lasts for so long?

The financing option that the board is recommending is offered through Bloomfield Township and is based on a per homeowner assessment. Property owners have the option to pay the assessment in full or finance the assessment over the terms in the SAD (Special Assessment District).

Estimate of $10 K appears high based on work done in other subs in the last 2 years.

If this is the case and estimate is intentionally inflated to help support the no vote, the survey is not fair, objective but rather on tilt.
Answer: The estimate for costs per homeowner was based on research on other SAD paving projects.  An estimate per mile of roadway was calculated and then divided equally across all homeowners in the subdivision.  Because we have larger lots (fewer homes) than comparable subs that have had paving done, our projected costs are higher.  This was done to give a more accurate estimate, not to support a particular vote on the survey.  The Oakland County Road Commission will ultimately provide the cost estimates.

Why is the county responsible for the roads?

By a contractual agreement with Bloomfield Township, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) retains responsibility for 50 miles of primary roads and state trunk lines within Bloomfield Township. These roads include, but are not limited to, Telegraph, Woodward, the mile roads, Squirrel Road, Lahser, Franklin, Inkster, Adams, part of Charring Cross, part of Cranbrook, Fairfax Ave. and Eastways.

Why are the roads not repaved by the Township?

Bloomfield Township is the only township in the state that directly provides road maintenance to its residents. In the late 1960’s, at the request of the Township, Public Act 51 was adjusted to allow Bloomfield Township to enter into a contractual agreement with Oakland County to take over the maintenance and repair of its own subdivision roads. The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) retained maintenance responsibility for all thoroughfares other than subdivision roads. Additionally, the RCOC maintained legal jurisdiction over all the roadways within the Township. 

A condition of this agreement mandated that Bloomfield Township pass a special one-mil millage for the maintenance of subdivision roads. Bloomfield Township cannot use PA 51 funding for the replacement or reconstruction of subdivision roads, or for the paving of gravel roads. The reasoning was – and still is today – that local roads only benefit residents in that specific area. Subdivision roads do not provide a thoroughfare for general traffic, so state funding from PA 51 cannot provide for their improvement.  For more detail see the township website.

We pay enough taxes already, why doesn’t this pay for road repairs? They're public roads, right?

Bloomfield Township currently levies .7169 mills for the maintenance and routine repair of subdivision roads. For a homeowner with a Taxable Value of $200,000, this works out to $143.38 a year. That amount stretches to cover plowing, salting, sweeping and patching of more than 230 miles of concrete and asphalt subdivision roads, plus the grading and dust control of 34 miles of gravel roads. The millage was never intended to cover major projects such as the replacement or reconstruction of a road or the paving of gravel roads.

For road replacement or reconstruction projects in subdivisions, the creation of a Special Assessment District (SAD) is necessary. This puts the responsibility of the subdivision roads on the homeowners in each subdivision. The cost of road replacement or reconstruction projects varies depending on:

  • the length of roadway per lot;
  • the nature of the improvements; and
  • the type of road and its overall condition.

Costs may range from $5,000 to $20,000 per lot.  For more detail see the township website.

The scrape and resurface of Lahser Rd south of Long Lake was effective this summer. I hope the estimate will include alternative methods to proceed.

The typical life span of a road is 20 years. Most roads in the Township’s subdivisions are considerably older than 20 years.  The roads in Stillmeadow subdivision have never been completely rebuilt. They are over 50 years old.

The board is recommending that we look at a complete rip up and replace of the road surface.  We believe the amount of money required to do a grind the surface the pave over top would not be cost effective.  Also, within a rather short period of time, wherever cracks exist in the base layer, cracks will reappear.  You only need to look at Long Lake Road, just east of Lasher to see what has happened to that road surface.

We will discuss options with the Township Road Division about costs and viability of a regrind and repave option. 

Having the road repaved would encourage people to speed even more in our sub.

Some of the worst offenders of speeding are our own sub neighbors.  We can discuss ideas on how to address speeding in the sub, including asking the police to sit in the sub from time to time and actually ticket people.  Sometimes it takes drastic measures to get people to be more conscience of their actions.

Can we get a deal on repaving driveways too while this is happening?

Any driveway resurfacing would have to be worked out completely independent of the road resurfacing project, since that would be managed by the Township.  It may be possible to have the same contactor redo driveways.  However, we would not want to have delays in the overall road project due to any unforeseen issues with a resident’s driveway.

How old are the roads currently?

According to information obtained from a resident that has been in the sub since 1960, there was not any repaving of all of the roads, only various local overlays over the course of many years.  The last overlay work was completed at the front entrance and the hill area on Stillmeadow (near Holly Lane)  about 5 years ago. So the roads are over 50 years old.

Could we get an estimate on putting in a walking/bike lane around the Thornbrier-Burning tree circle? Or maybe a white line painted along the road?

This should be treated as a separate project to determine if there is support for this by a majority of association residents.

I have a corner lot and do not want to pay 2x

The board is recommending a financing plan offered through the Township which divides the costs are equally for each homeowner, instead of based on frontage.  A person on a corner lot would not pay double.

Should we have a sinking fund rolling year after year to avoid steep increases like $500?

We can institute a sinking fund as part of the dues structure, however, it would take a very long time to collect sufficient funds to cover the costs of a road project.  (At $500 a year extra in dues to a sinking fund, it would take 20+ years to have sufficient funds to redo roads.)  Many residents would never see the benefit.

Additionally, there are homeowners that do not pay the small dues fee we currently levy.  The board believes that having the costs levied as a tax that can be transferred upon sale of the house, should we proceed, is the best method to ensure that all homes using the roads are directly benefiting and that all residents, current or future, are paying equally.

Is this going to be a mill and fill project or a total remove and reshape?

The project will be estimated as a complete redo - ripped out, new base layer plus 4 inches of new asphalt.

Can we do patching like we did a few years ago?

We can always ask the Township to evaluate our roads for the possibility of localized patches.  Patching would depend on the condition of the road and the overall priority within the Township road budget. 

As you may notice, when even larger local overlays are done, cracks do reappear within about 2 years.  Patches do not address the fact that our roads are about 50+ years old.  (base layer, not all the various patches done over the years, which is why the roads are so uneven).  Patching will not affect cracks in the base layer, which come up through the patches.