Community Raises Concern Over Potential Road Fund Plan

The way this new plan to fund roads would raise money has some concerned about what it could mean for them.

9 &10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Erin Malone talked to drivers and businesses about the proposed changes.

"I think our elected officials will have a lot of explaining to do," Soo Line Airport Shuttle & Limo Service and Northern Michigan Car Rentals owner Damon Lieurence said. "They gave them a clear message of 80 to 20% that they weren’t in favor of raising taxes. They wanted to see some more responsible acts by our leadership in Lansing."

Potential increases in gas taxes and license and registration fees concerns local drivers.

"They shouldn’t raise our gas taxes because its already hard enough for people like me who live off disability every month because we don’t get enough to go on and life, it’s hard to pay the rent and buy your food and everything without any help," driver Mary Etcher said.

Another concern is whether the money will actually translate into better roads and bridges.

"It’s easy to say this is where the funds are going to come from, but when it actually comes down to taking them and utilizing the funding, it concerns me where the dollars come from," Rudyard Area Schools Superintendent Mark Pavloski said.

Damon Lieurence’s livelihood runs on cars.

He own a local shuttle service and rental car business, already spending up to $6,000 a month on gas.

"It’ll affect me. It’ll affect my customers," Lieurence said. "A lot of the people that take one of our limos over to work, they can’t afford their own car. This is going to make it harder for them to afford their own car. It’s going to be harder for them to achieve the American dream."

So once again, how the state wants to pay for better roads is the sticking point.