Dan Wholihan: Vote No on Genoa Township Millage November 5th

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On the November 2013 ballot, there will be a millage for residents of Genoa Township, MI in Livingston County. This millage, if passed, will raise property taxes 1.5 mills over a period of at least 15 years.
The projects this will fund will be at the discretion of the Genoa Township Board of Trustees, however there is a master plan regarding road projects and a map covering the projects. The master plan is on the Genoa Township website.

Genoa map

The expected projects and their estimated costs are as follows.

  • Crooked Lake – 2.8 Million (2014) – New Paving from Chilson to Door
  • Latson – 1.85 Million (2014) – Widening – One project I agree with
  • Beck Road – 2.95 Million (2015) – New widening and paving from the new Latson Interchange to Chilson
  • Conrad/Challis – 1.925 Million (2014) – New widening and paving from Clifford to Dorr
  • Challis Bauer Intersection – 2.1 Million (2015) – Roundabout
  • Herbst Rd – 3.9 Million (2016) – New widening and paving from Grand River to Sylvan Glen
  • Cunningham Lake and Bauer 3.65 Million (2016) – New widening and paving from Stonegate Subdivision to Bauer, and on Bauer from Cunningham Lake to first Pine Creek Entrance.
  • Bauer Rd – 1.25 Million (2016) – From Cunningham Lake to Township Line (around Murray Lake)
  • Hughes Road – 2.55 Million (2016) – Repaving.

Total estimated costs – $22.975 Million

Here’s some pictures of four of the roads set to be widened and paved. I don’t need to cherry pick pictures. Feel free and drive by there yourself.

Conrad rd crooked lake Cunningham Herbst


This hits close to home. While I currently live in Green Oak Township, I spent my first 23 years (outside of MSU) in the Cunningham Lake Road (Third Picture) neighborhood in Genoa Township. I still have many family and friends there and know more people in that area than I do where I currently live. Literally nobody I know in the neighborhood wants this paved. These are people I’ve known for 20+ and in some cases 30+ years.  The opposition in some areas, such as Cunningham Lake is extremely strong, and for good reason.

  • People moved to the country. Most of the residents there have been there for a long time, in some cases almost 40 years. This neighborhood hasn’t changed much in that period outside of more pedestrians using the road and flocks of Sandhill Cranes that moved here about 16 years ago. They don’t want it paved.  This was – and still is – a rural country road in the woods.
  • Speed. People drive fast enough on that road and are taking a big risk. Many a time I have seen drivers fly down the hill past the corner, go about two houses down from where I used to live, and slam on their breaks when Sandhill Cranes cross the road. At night, substitute a deer for the cranes. In a worst case scenario, it’s not animals but bicyclists, joggers, and hunters.
  • Demolishing of rural character. Cunningham Lake Road in that picture is 19 1/2 feet wide including the shoulder. I measured it myself. The master plan wants the road to have two 11ft wide lanes and shoulders “as needed”. In neighboring Bauer Rd’s case, it would be a 3ft paved and 3ft gravel shoulder on each side. In that 3rd picture, likely widen each side about 8 ft. Expect massive clearcutting of the owners’ 40 year old trees in that picture for no good reason (and 100yr old trees elsewhere). Many residents are highly sensitive to the tree removals due to losing a bunch of them in a recent tornado.
  • This is a waste of money. This is a tax increase for widening and paving roads residents do not want paved. $16 million of the millage does not fix main roads.
  • This does not affect Brighton Rd, Chilson, Coon Lake, Dorr, or Grand River – the main roads in the township. You all know those.
  • Hamburg Township residents do not pay a dime, despite Cunningham Lake being a township border.

I understand the argument for raising taxes to fix current roads in bad shape. If the master plan was set to cover the main roads instead of new work on rural country roads in good shape, some of us would be less opposed. By including them, organized opposition formed to oppose this. In response to this millage, a ballot question committee,  Protect Genoa Township Neighborhoods, has been formed and filed with the County Clerk to get the word out to residents and encourage a “NO” vote this November 5th. Those who wish to send donations to fight this millage then can do so at PO Box 1182, Brighton MI 48116. There are no salaries involved here and all donations will be used to fight this millage.  I am consulting on this campaign pro bono to assist my family members who are strongly opposed to this.

For more information, please visit the official blog at http://www.genoaroadmillage.blogspot.com

Please vote NO on November, 5th.

Disclaimer – While I am the current Chair of the Livingston County Republican Party, this is not a project of the LCRP. The LCRP has not taken a position on this and I have not asked them to do so due to conflicts of interest (Family ties to the homes affected). This is my own personal opinion.