Roads and Trails Millage

Roads and Trails Millage

The condition of the City of Monroe's roads is a problem the City has been attempting to address for several years now. Mayor, Council, and City Administration have listened closely to residents and have considered all of the options.

On the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot, City of Monroe voters will consider a 15 year, up to 2.00 mill tax increase to upgrade local streets and trails.  The millage will raise approximately One Million Eight Hundred Eighty Thousand dollars ($1,880,000.00) annually to improve up to 35 miles of local streets in the city.  Millage funds will not be used for road improvements on state highways.

See our FAQ list below for more detailed information on the Roads and Trails Millage.

Department Quick Links

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of the Roads and Trails Millage?

The goal of the millage is to bring local streets to an acceptable standard, address deficiencies with existing sidewalks, and have local funding for trail grants.

The millage can be used to resurface and/or reconstruct local streets, improve sidewalks and ADA-compliant curb ramps, and allow for funding of pedestrian/bicycle trails. 

Why aren’t the taxes I pay enough to cover the cost for local road reconstruction and sidewalk replacement?

The City receives funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to maintain its street network. The primary sources of the State’s funding are gas taxes and vehicle registrations.

The funding the City receives from MDOT is woefully inadequate to maintain local streets at an acceptable level without local taxes to finance local street resurfacing and reconstruction projects. Sidewalk and ramp replacement is essentially financed with local property taxes but the amount is inadequate to replace sidewalks throughout the City or complete our network in areas lacking sidewalks at present. Again, the City already uses property tax revenues for street and sidewalk projects but is clearly not enough to maintain them to an acceptable level.

Over the ten-year period from 2010-19, even with extensive general fund support, only 22 miles of roadways were reconstructed or resurfaced, out of a total City network of 83 miles. This reflects approximately a 40-year cycle of replacement, which results in a poor surface condition on many roadways.

How will the funding from the local millage be used?

The primary focus will be improvements to local streets and sidewalks. The City annually adopts a five-year capital improvements program that identifies projects within that time period. Projects are prioritized based on existing infrastructure conditions, volume of traffic, and pedestrian usage.

If additional funding is made available, some projects can be accomplished in the first five (5) years that could not otherwise be funded until 5-10 years out.

Which roads will benefit?

The documents linked below identifies projects that will take place in the next five years and projects to be completed in subsequent years.

Street Projects Map
Street Projects List (2 pages)

If approved by the voters, City Administration will recommending that a number of projects be moved into the 2021 and 2022 construction season with a portion of the millage to be financed with short-term debt.

The rationale for this recommendation is:

  1. Many local streets are in poor condition;
  2. There is a cost benefit that larger construction bid package provide better pricing due to reduce mobilization costs and economies of scale;
  3. Take advantage of historically low interest rates;
  4. Mitigate impact on construction prices growing at a higher annual rate than the cost of borrowing.

When will local road improvements begin?

Projects will begin in 2021 and continue throughout the 15-year period.

What are the methods/types of road improvements to be done?

There are essentially three types of road projects:

  1. Complete reconstruction, which usually done with concrete surfacing and includes new curb and gutter, driveway approach replacement, and storm sewer improvements if necessary;
  2. Asphalt removal (milling), spot road base repairs if necessary, spot or full curb replacements if necessary, spot storm sewer improvements if necessary, and resurfacing with new asphalt; and
  3. Concrete joint or spot panel replacements.

The intent is to NOT use millage proceeds for road maintenance such as crack sealing, micro surfacing (thin overlay to extend life of pavement), or spray patching, though these techniques are employed annually to maintain roadways that are already in fair to good condition.

How and why are roads chosen for reconstruction and resurfacing?

Every year the Department of Engineering and Public Services evaluates the condition of all the pavement and curbs in the city and compiles a report. The street segments that will be selected for improvement during the upcoming fiscal year are based on their rating on the condition index. Each street segment is reviewed for reconstruction, resurfacing, or maintenance treatments, and is prioritized by the severity of the deterioration.

Street surfaces are inspected and each is rated between the limits of “Excellent” and “Critical” depending on such factors as rideability, cracking, deformation, and appearance. A point value is assigned for each street segment, which is between “0” for “Excellent” and “10” for virtually impassable. Curb conditions are also inspected on each street and each section is rated between the limits of “0” for “Excellent” to “3” for “Very Poor”, with streets totally lacking curbs rated a “4”.

When the point values for each condition are totaled, the resulting sum indicates an index number for the street block. Finally, the street blocks are combined into logical sections and averaged to produce an “Average Index Number”.

Ideally, curb replacement and/or resurfacing will first occur on those streets or street sections having the highest average index, though this is influenced by other factors such as needed utility work, traffic, maintenance costs, and eligibility for Federal funding.

What will this cost me?

  • Home valued at $200,000 (Assumed $100,000 taxable value): $200 annually;
  • Home valued at $150,000 (Assumed $75,000 taxable value): $150 annually;
  • Home valued at $100,000 (Assumed $50,000 taxable value: $100 annually.

Click the link below for our rate calculator using your current address.

Millage Rate Calculator

What is will the language on the ballot be?

There will be three proposals on the ballot - two administrative charter changes and the Roads and Trails Millage.  You can find more information about the administrative charter changes by following this link.

The first proposal you will see under "CITY PROPOSALS" will be the Roads and Trails Millage.  That language will read as follows:


Shall Section 118 of the Charter of the City of Monroe be amended to allow Council to levy up to 2.00 mills for fifteen (15) years beginning with the 2021 tax year and running through the 2035 tax year for the purposes of improvement, repair, replacement and construction of roads, sidewalks, ramps, and pedestrian and bicycle trails and paths? If approved this would be a new millage which will raise in the first year of such levy an estimated revenue of One Million Eight Hundred Eighty Thousand dollars ($1,880,000.00).

Questions?  Please 
contact us.