State Rep. Peter Lucido and his State of State guest Candice Miller, the Macomb County Public Works Commissioner, agree with Gov. Rick Snyder’s remarks Tuesday for improved statewide investment on roads, bridges and sewer and water systems.
“We know right now in Macomb County how important it is to keep a close eye on the sewage and water pipes,” said Rep. Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “It’s not just the infrastructure we can see, but what we can’t see which is important.”
Rep. Lucido has visited the site of a 250-foot long and 100-foot wide sinkhole in Fraser, observing firsthand how the underground issue is affecting area roads and businesses, while forcing the Christmas Eve evacuation of families from their homes.
“It’s a terrible situation all around,” Rep. Lucido said. “The thing is this could have been avoided.”
The sinkhole forced Miller, a seven-term U.S. Congresswoman and two-term Michigan Secretary of State, into action prior to her first day in her Macomb County position on Jan. 1.
“It is absolutely critical that the state prioritize infrastructure investment,” she said. “What’s happening with the Fraser sinkhole in Macomb County is ‘the canary in the coal mine.’ And it’s a direct result of us not having adequate investment, particularly in underground infrastructure, for decades.”
“There’s no time to waste,” she added.
Gov. Snyder did not call for any specific financial allocation related to sewage and water systems during his remarks, but he does plan to establish a $2 million regional program to catalog inventory and status. The allocation follows the recommendation of the 21st century Infrastructure Commission in 2016.
“Hopefully, we can get moving on this because we don’t need to the situation in Fraser repeating itself in Iron Mountain, Traverse City or Lansing,” said Lucido.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the Capitol with Gov. Snyder mentioning the need for growing our economy, the challenges of unfunded liabilities, keeping our healthy community programs, continuing to invest in education and expanding our jobs training programs. All are key issues in Macomb County and I will work hard to make sure we’re doing what’s right for us all. Infrastructure is one of those items which is crucial because we don’t always see it, but we rely on it every single day.”