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SEMCOG’s Executive Committee meets on Friday, Feb. 26, at 1 p.m. in SEMCOG’s office at 1001 Woodward Ave., Suite 1400, Detroit, MI 48226.

The Executive Committee will be requested to approve:

  • SEMCOG’s FY 2016-2017 Annual Operating Budget and Work Program Summary;
  • Partnering for Prosperity, the SEMCOG/MAC Economic Development Strategy for Southeast Michigan; and
  • A budget amendment that adds a regional trails facilitation grant for $170,000 to SEMCOG’s 2015-2016 Budget and Work Program.

Also on the agenda will be a report from SEMCOG’s congressional visits occurring in Washington, DC this week. Members of the Executive Committee will receive an agenda one week prior to the meeting.

Contact: Mike Spence, SEMCOG Executive Office.


SEMCOG/MAC invite public comment on Partnering for Prosperity: Economic Development Strategy for Southeast Michigan


SEMCOG and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC) announce the public comment period forPartnering for Prosperity: Economic Development Strategy for Southeast Michigan.

Approval of the strategy at SEMCOG’s Executive Committee on February 26, 2016, is the culmination of a year’s effort of extensive public and stakeholder input that included a survey, public forums, and county meetings; SEMCOG and MAC meeting sessions; research and data analysis; and guidance by the Economic Development Task Force. Read the entire public notice.

Contact: SEMCOG Information Center.


FHWA and FTA to hold public meeting on Southeast Michigan’s transportation planning process on March 1

An opportunity for you to talk directly with the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in an open public meeting concerning your views on the transportation planning process in the greater Detroit area is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, 2016, from 4:30-7 p.m. in SEMCOG’s office at 1001 Woodward Avenue, Suite 1400, Detroit, MI 48226.

This public meeting is part of a review that will assess compliance with federal regulations pertaining to the transpiration planning process conducted by SEMCOG, the Michigan Department of Transportation, public transportation providers, and local units of government in Southeast Michigan.

Written comments will be accepted until March 18, 2016. Address them to Stewart McKenzie, Federal Transit Administration, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606 (Stewart.Mckenzie@dot.gov) or Andy Picard, Federal Highway Administration, Michigan Division, 315 West Allegan Street, Room 201, Lansing, MI 48933 (Andy.Picard@dot.gov).

Read the entire public notice.

Contact: SEMCOG Information Center.


SEMCOG call for projects: Transportation Alternatives Program

$5 million available through TAP for FY-2017

SEMCOG recently issued a call for projects for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP is a competitive grant program that funds projects such as bicycle facilities, shared-use paths, and streetscape improvements that improve pedestrian safety, transportation-related environmental mitigation (including green infrastructure), and safe routes to school. It is expected that $5 million will be available for FY2017. Learn more about TAP, including an upcoming workshop on the application process.

Contact: Brian Pawlik, SEMCOG Plan Implementation.


Switch MI Trip this week

Single-occupant vehicle drivers encouraged to try a new commute for one day

SEMCOG will award prizes to new alternative commuting users in Southeast Michigan when they switch from driving alone to sharing a ride for one day this week, February 8-12. The goal of Switch MI Trip is to introduce drivers to different modes of transportation such as carpooling and vanpooling, using public transportation, walking and biking, and flextime and telecommute benefits. Those already using an alternative commute can also become eligible for prizes by making referrals. Learn more at SEMCOG’sSwitch MI Trip webpage. Please share this information with your community using the materials provided in our recent mailing.

Contact: Iris Steinberg, SEMCOG Plan Implementation.


Annual public meeting: Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority


The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) announces its annual public meeting to share information on operations and activities and solicit feedback from the public. All are invited to attend in person or through the webcast. Here are the details:

Thursday, February 11, 2016, 2 p.m.

Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre

3277 Sandwich Street West

Windsor, Ontario

Webcast: http://www.wdbridge.com

Submit questions in advance by today, February 8, at info@wdbridge.com.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is included in SEMCOG’s Regional Transportation Plan.

Contact: info@wdbridge.com or call 519-946-3038 to confirm attendance in person.


Resolving the issue of cities funding state road projects


Cities with populations of over 25,000 receive additional revenue under the Public Act 51 distribution formula for state trunkline roads within their jurisdiction. However, they are also required by law to pay a portion of any construction or maintenance project occurring on those roads. This copayment issue can mean a serious problem for communities when the time comes for freeway reconstruction.

For example, reconstructing I-75 is on the horizon. Under current estimates, the cities of Troy, Royal Oak, and Madison Heights would be required to contribute approximately $17 million to that project from their local road funds. SEMCOG has become involved in amending the state law to take cities out of the equation for funding state roads, especially since the vast majority of the cities impacted by this law are within the SEMCOG region. SB 557 has been introduced by Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy) that would eliminate the populated city copayment requirement. Discussions are taking place with MDOT, MML, and other interested parties on resolving this issue.

Contact: Bill Anderson, SEMCOG Executive Office.


New report: Access to Core Services in Southeast Michigan benchmarks accessibility; sets policies, actions to close gaps

SEMCOG’s recently released report, Access to Core Services in Southeast Michigan, includes regional policies and local actions approved by its Executive Committee that address the identified gaps in accessibility and improve the current benchmarks of residents’ ability to reach needed core services.

“This is a very important regional piece of work,” noted Yousef Rabhi, Washtenaw County Commissioner who chaired the Access to Core Services Task Force. “It outlines the glaring gaps that must be addressed and identifies the people in the community who don’t have access to core services. We also had the opportunity to engage directly with residents, hearing about their lived experiences, which complement and enhance the data.”

Read the rest of the news release.

Contact: Sue Stetler, SEMCOG Communications.



Training opportunities for SEMCOG members

Priority-Based Budgeting training is March 2


SEMCOG members are invited to participate in the third annual Priority-Based Budgeting training in Lansing, on March 2, 2016. Priority-Based Budgeting is a unique and innovative approach being used by over 100 local governments across the country to match available resources with community priorities, provide information to elected officials that lead to better informed decisions, meaningfully engage citizens in the budgeting process, and finally, escape the traditional routine of basing “new” budgets on revisions to the “old” budget. This holistic approach helps provide elected officials and other decision-makers with a “new lens” through which to frame better-informed financial and budgeting decisions and help ensure that a community is able to identify and preserve those programs and services that are most highly valued. Participants will learn how to implement online Priority-Based Budgeting, with tools such as Program Costing Analyzer and Model Maker. Find out more and register here.

New date added for ADA training


Contractors and inspectors need to know the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so that municipal infrastructure remains compliant. Experts from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Michigan Concrete Association (MCA), along with industry consultants will teach proper design, planning, and construction procedures for complying with ADA requirements. Click on graphic above for more information and to register for available workshops.

Contact: Mike Spence, SEMCOG Executive Office.


Clean water infrastructure funding opportunities

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will soon accept applications from communities interested in low-interest loans to help address aging infrastructure.

Michigan’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF) every year provide communities with low-interest loans for the planning, design, and construction of wastewater, nonpoint source pollution control and drinking water system projects. Interest rates range between 2 to 3 percent.

Communities interested in applying should first submit a project plan by May for drinking water projects, or by July for wastewater and nonpoint source projects. For further information on the loan programs, visit the Revolving Loan website, or call 517-284-5433 to talk with a revolving loan project manager.



Diana McKnight-Morton, Washtenaw Community College Trustee, has been appointed an associate member of the Diversity Committee for the Association of Community College Trustees.

The rebuild of County Road 151 through Erie, Bedford, and Whiteford townships in Monroe County received two awards. The Monroe County Road Commission received awards of excellence from the Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association and the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan. In 2014, the roadway received a multimillion dollar improvement to the 10.3 miles of the crumbling highway that was built in the 1960s as an experimental road. The road commission received $5 million in state funding to help with the project, which used recycled asphalt to repave the highway and crushed concrete from the road for other county projects

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