FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where do Road Commissions get their funding? How are roads funded on a local level?
Your property taxes DO NOT go to CCRD. Many people don’t realize that their property taxes do not go to the Road Commission. County road maintenance and improvements are funded primarily through the state-collected fuel taxes and vehicle license plate fees. Gas tax revenues are the single largest funding source.
CCRD receives no direct revenue from property taxes, since CCRD is separate from county general government.

Unfortunately, gas tax revenues have not kept up with inflation recently. For CCRD, we receive less funding, in real dollars, while our expenses continue to increase at the rate of inflation or more. At the same time, the needs on CCRD roads continue to grow at a rapid pace. We must survive on the gas tax, which is a fixed amount and does not increase as the cost of fuel rises.

By law — Act 51 of the Public Acts of 1951 — road commissions are only allowed to pay 50% for reconstruction/resurfacing of a local road – the other 50% is usually contributed by townships or adjoining property owners.

What is the process for getting a speed limit reduced?
The responsibility for the establishment of speed limits on our county roads and roadways lies with the Michigan State Police, the Calhoun County Road Department, and Township Boards as specifically outlined in the Michigan Vehicle Code. This requires a unanimous determination.

Criteria and standards of normal conditions have been developed to determine what is to be considered the proper speed limit for a section of road. Traffic volume, daylight visibility hours and dry pavement conditions are all considered when determining an appropriate speed limit. Specific speed limits are based on a traffic study that includes the speeds drivers are traveling the road, accident patterns and history, the road’s physical characteristics and surrounding land use.

Please call our office or email us for any specific speed limit requests.

When does the Calhoun County Road Department cut trees?
Trees are usually cut down in the winter months when not plowing snow. Trees are usually cut on a first come, first serve basis by residents who have contacted our office, signed a tree release agreement, and who have been put on our tree maintenance list. The Calhoun County Road Department determines if a tree is a safety hazard and should be put on our tree list for removal.

Where can I get additional brochures on the variety of services/operations from Calhoun County Road Department?
Click on the ‘Services‘ page.

What are the Calhoun County Road Department right-of-ways?
On all county roads, in general, the right-of-way is 66 feet. The exceptions are in some subdivisions, around lake properties and old state roads that Calhoun County has acquired.

Road improvements, or their lack of, make my property taxes too high.
Road Commission funds do not come from property taxes. Our revenue comes from gas tax and license plates fees, and from cost-sharing primarily with townships.

What type of equipment does the CCRD use to maintain our roads, bridges, etc. in Calhoun County?
Calhoun County Road Department equipment includes over 138 pieces of rolling equipment, of which 52 are scraper, dump trucks, and the remainder are loaders, backhoes, tractors, motor graders, pickups, cars and various equipment. Five Mechanics and a welder/fabricator keep the fleet running. Most of the salt trucks are fitted with computerized application equipment, as well as specified hydraulic systems designed to save fuel. The newer trucks have stainless steel boxes, so they won’t rust as conventional or carbon steel types do. Each truck has an underbody scraper and a front plow for deep and drifting snow.

Specialty equipment includes two distributor trucks for spraying oil on the road prior to laying stone with a Chip Spreader machine. A Vactor truck for cleaning culverts and catch basins, two sign trucks with aerial lifts, post drivers and pullers and an aerial truck for tree work.

When do I need a Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Permit?
If you are within 500 feet of a wetland, lake, stream or county drain. Also if you would be disturbing more than one acre of land.

When do I need a Commercial Driveway Permit or Private Road Permit?
If you are going to be changing an existing driveway or private road that connects to a county road, or if you want to install a new driveway or roadway.

What do you mean by “changing an existing driveway or private roadway?”
Changing can be, but is not limited to, resurfacing, widening, adding curb and gutter or adding more traffic flow to the existing driveway or roadway than originally intended and approved.

When do we have to build a private road to county standards?
Within the right-of-way of the county roadway, the Road Commission will regulate how the private road is constructed. Outside of the right-of-way, the township regulates the standards. Many townships require you to build the private road to county standard up to the hard surface. Please check with the township you will be building in to find out what their requirements are for a private roadway.

When do I need a Right-Of-Way Permit?
Before doing a driveway installation, driveway resurfacing, tree removal, utility installation, special signage installation, ditch modification or minor landscaping within the county’s right-of-way.

What activities do the Calhoun County Road Department perform in the Right-Of-Way?
Shoulder maintenance, brush removal, berm removal, ditch cleaning, mowing, sign installation, guardrail and other miscellaneous duties.

What activities does the Calhoun County Road Department NOT ALLOW in the Right-Of-Way?
Fencing, retaining walls, spriklers, landscaping such as field stone, berm, trees, shrubs, flowers, ditch fill in, agrigultural commodities if there is a sight distance issue, mailboxes that do not break away and any other obstructions that have the potential of obscuring sight distance, signage or any public safety hazard.

Do I need to apply for a Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit to dig a pond?
The only time you need to apply for a SESC Permit for a pond is if the pond is over 1 acre or within 500 feet of a wetland, lake, stream or county drain, etc.