1/23/2023: To toll or not to toll

From here. For here. The daily Kalamazoo community newsletter.

NowKalamazoo masthead

Monday, January 23, 2023

High 35°/Low 30° Cloudy

Is it time to consider toll roads in Michigan? New studies show the state could get $1 billion per year to fund road repairs if we did. Also: KRESA is considering putting a millage renewal before voters in May. And a daring rescue in Portage saved the life of one man on Friday.

News You Need To Know

Time for tolls?

Is it time to consider toll roads in Michigan? Some experts say so. New studies performed for state officials says Michigan could generate as much as $1 billion per year to fund road repairs. HNTB, a Missouri engineering firm, lead the research. It looked at all 31 highways in Michigan and determined that 14 of them could become toll roads. That includes Interstate 94.

One scenario suggests drivers could be charged 6 cents per mile on I-94. That would cost a driver about $12 to travel from the Indiana border to Detroit. Trucks would pay four times as much, while low-income drivers would have their tolls waived. The money could offset declining gas tax revenue resulting from the growing use of electric vehicles. Whether such a plan would ever be implemented is a political question. Eric Morris, vice president of HNTB, told Bridge Michigan that it’s up to state officials to decide if such a plan is “right for Michigan or not.” [Bridge Michigan]

KRESA considering millage renewal

The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA) may ask voters in May to renew 1.5 mill tax to fund support programs and services for students in Kalamazoo County. The millage was first passed in 2005 and renewed in 2020. This time around, officials are considering asking for a six-year renewal. But first, districts representing more than half of the students in KRESA have to sign off on the request. Portage Public Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools have already done so. The KRESA board will take up the issue on Thursday. The tax would cost a homeowner with a home that has a taxable value of $75,000 about $112 per year. Much of that money goes directly to local school districts. For example, PPS could see about $3.7 million per year from the millage. [MLive]

Portage student picked for senate youth program

A senior from Portage Central High School has been picked to represent Michigan in Washington D.C. this March. Fayyaz Razi is one of two students from Michigan selected for the Senate Youth Program. Razi will join fellow Michigander Olivia Serio for Washington Week from March 4 to 11. They will spend the week studying the U.S. government while also meeting with senators, representatives, and other high-ranking federal officials. The program also comes with a $10,000 scholarship. Razi is already well-known in Portage, where he serves as a youth representative on the city’s Human Services Board. In a press release, he said he would like to one day represent Michigan in Congress and work on issues such as education quality and clean water. [WWMT]

A daring rescue in Portage

Firefighters with the Portage Department of Public Safety showed up just in time to save a life Friday morning. They responded to a report of a crash at the intersection of Shaver Road and Centre Avenue around 6:20am. One of the cars had rolled onto its side near the railroad tracks. The driver was still inside and said he couldn’t get out because of severe back pain. That’s when the crossing signal lights began to flash. Video of the incident shows firefighters pulling the driver from the wreck mere seconds before the train hit it. The driver was taken to the hospital where his condition is unknown. Another driver was not injured. [WOOD]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Music and Memories – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
10:45AM 1/23

Chinese New Year Celebration – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
5:30PM 1/23

ARTbreak: Look and Listen – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 1/24

Kalamazoo Premier Chess Club – Urban Alliance
6:00PM 1/24

Open Mic – Sugar Bowl Bar & Grill
6:00PM 1/24

Art Hop Bootcamp for Artists (virtual) – Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
6:00PM 1/24

Black Voices Western Michigan – Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo
6:30PM 1/24

Distillery Tour – Green Door Distilling Co.
5:15PM 1/25

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, W. Main St.
6:00PM 1/25

Art Hop Bootcamp for Venues (virtual) – Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo
6:00PM 1/25

Planting Native Species Using Real Ecosystems as a Guide – Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
7:00PM 1/25

2 of a Kind (Steve Kamerling and Joe Ferguson) – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 1/25

Neon & Cocktails: A 90’s Party – Crafted Copper
8:30PM 1/25

See more upcoming events here.

Suggest something to do: [email protected]

Dear reader,

If you find value in this newsletter, please consider contributing. NowKalamazoo is independent and locally owned. Your donation goes to the costs of paying professional, local journalists.

Thank you,

Ben Lando

Founder and Publisher of NowKalamazoo


Support NowKalamazoo for free: Forward this email to others who value community news coverage.

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to get our daily news and events roundup in your email every weekday morning.