Broad Street Receives Inclusion in 2015 Road Maintenance Plan Despite Narrower Project Contingency Fund

Those who live and travel on Broad Street will be relieved to know that city officials have left it on the city’s implementation of the 2015 Road Maintenance Plan after a discussion and vote during this week’s regular City Council meeting.

Dexter’s road maintenance plan is an ongoing effort to measure the PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) rating of local streets, in order to determine necessary repair and replacement of local street surfaces, in order to be eligible for road funding through the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The first of two options — the complete $756,816.61 maintenance plan which includes Broad and a second option less that $52,401.79 of work — was ultimately voted on, despite a number of concerns expressed by several councilmembers, including City Councilman Ray Tell, who made the motion.

“I want to thank the committee for all the work they’ve done — I’m not taking this lightly,” Tell said. “I appreciate everything you’ve done here and I don’t want anyone to feel slighted, but I’m going to have to vote against my motion.”

Initially, Tell was concerned with the narrowness of the overall project’s contingency fund, which was taken down to $52,000 by the inclusion of Broad Street, which needs cape seal to ensure that its condition doesn’t degrade further.

There was discussion about leaving an option for the contractor to go ahead with the cape sealing on Broad depending on how heavily they’re utilizing the contingency fund, which is 13 percent of the overall project budget without Broad.

But councilmembers weren’t comfortable with leaving an aspect of a project to a contractor’s discretion.

Councilman Joe Semifero expressed concern about effectively, “telling staff to approve a $40,000 project without council input.”

Councilman Jim Carson expressed confidence that the city’s financial position not just in the road funds, but across the board, was such that it was worth the risk of running a tight contingency on the project in order to deal with road maintenance issues on Broad now, when they’re going to be cheapest to address, rather than later.

“It’s good fiscal responsibility to protect our reserves, but it’s also good fiscal responsibility to fix our roads,” Carson explained. “We have the money … if we did have a problem in the road fund, we do have money to fix a road or a sewer. We have other fund balances. This city is in good financial shape.

Semifero added that the road maintenance plan as presented had already been stripped down significantly, with the removal of work on Grand Street that would have cost the city $200,000 and work on Forest that would have cost nearly $60,000.

“We took a lot out of these projects … this is already pulled back,” he said.

The first option with Broad Street included passed by a vote of five to two, with Mayor Shawn Keough and Councilwoman Julie Knight dissenting.

Visit us later in the week for more stories on decisions and discussions that occurred at this week’s council meeting.

If you have news that you would like us to cover, send an email to Content and Community Manager Sean Dalton at

Below is the Dexter City Council meeting regular meeting agenda for Monday, June 8, 2015.

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Below is the Dexter City Council meeting regular meeting packet for Monday, June 8, 2015.

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