The Hillsdale County Road Commission was organized in 1919 by the County Board of Supervisors. The original location of the office was in the basement of the Hillsdale County court house. The original garage was located on Ferris Street in downtown Hillsdale. The office moved to our current location on M-99 and Steamburg Road in 1973. We built a new truck barn at our current location in 1994 and completed our move in 2001 with the construction of our new repair garage.
In Michigan, the County Road Commission is in charge of all public streets and roads in the county that are not in a city or village. We are charged to maintain the county road system so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel.
Hillsdale County has 370 miles of primary roads, and 831 miles of local roads, for a combined total of 1,201 miles of county roads. 51% of the county roads are paved and 49% are gravel or dirt roads. The Hillsdale County Road Commission also maintains 93 miles of state highways under contract with MDOT. We also, maintain 96 bridges.
Our budget ranges from $6 to $7 million depending on the amount of construction every year. Most of our funding for roads come from state transportation funds, such as gasoline and diesel taxes, license plate registration fees, and from township cost sharing.
Our major source of income is the Michigan Transportation Fund – which is $0.19 per gallon state gas tax and vehicle license plate fees. This accounts for roughly $4.5 million per year. Townships usually contribute $750,000 per year for projects on local roads. State maintenance accounts for about $700,000 per year. Federal funds for major road or bridge projects can add up to another $750,000 to $1 million. We do not receive any property taxes for roads or bridges. Unfortunately, the money doesn’t stretch very far, because road and bridge construction is so expensive.