PRESS RELEASE: Capital Improvement Planning in Oshtemo
Re: Capital Improvement Planning in Oshtemo Township
Oshtemo Township wishes to inform residents of upcoming Board discussions on capital improvement
planning work. Information on the upcoming Township Board discussions include–
Long-range planning and Comprehensive projects (Background)– Across Michigan and the US our
infrastructure is crumbling or in need of investment. Oshtemo is being fiscally responsible and efficient
in long-term project planning. The goal is to implement capital infrastructure projects in a practical way
– coordinate with other agency projects, address all needs in the Right-of-way (both under and above
ground), maximize funding & grant opportunities, low-interest loans, and appropriate revenue streams.
This task requires identifying priorities and overlapping needs among many plans to create a long-term
strategy for managing assets.
Road Millage (will be considered July 27th, starting at approximately 7:15 pm).
At the regular meeting of the Oshtemo Charter Township Board on July 27th, the members will consider
action on whether to adopt a 1.08 road millage.
Based on cost estimates and life cycle analysis by the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC),
the current road policy and funding is not sustainable. Many aging roads are beyond their useful life.
Preventive maintenance is no longer an option; rather the need is for heavy rehabilitation and
reconstruction. The goal is to bring the average condition of all local roads in the Township to the upper
1/3 of the PASER scale, or good condition (out of good, fair, poor condition categories) and to have a
robust maintenance program to extend road life when reconstructed. Everyone uses these roads,
everyone shares costs. For the past several months the Board has been exploring a proposed road
millage of 1.08 mils – for an average home taxable value of $100,000 (for a home with a selling value of
$200,000) this is $100 annually.
Sanitary Sewer Expansion (will be considered August 10th, starting at approximately 7:15 pm)
On August 10th, the Township Board will consider whether to pursue the USDA Phase I and II sewer
Over the past 10 years, successive Boards have identified the priority of extending public sewers into
“gaps” of the service area (shown in green on the map). Board Members believe it is their responsibility to
pursue public sanitary sewers for the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Kalamazoo County
Environmental Health Officials expressed that in these types of areas, they support public sewers
because septic systems were not intended to be a long-term solution in urban areas. We recognize this
may not be a popular answer for individual owners satisfied with their septic, but we heard the opposite
from many residents whose systems had failed.
Oshtemo’s elected Treasurer Clare Buszka was against the mandatory sewer, based on the cost. Clare is
a part of the sewer expansion areas and would be mandated to connect. Since being an integral part of
the Capital Improvements Committee as a new member of the Board, Clare has met with the KLA group
and toured the landfill, spoken with residents with failing septics needing help, and been a part of
discussions about drinking water with officials elsewhere. Clare is now firmly supportive of the sewer
expansion but remains against the high cost to residents. Clare stated, “Until now I have been against
the sewers because of the high cost to residents. Having the cost revisited and new connection amounts
proposed, I am all for the sewer installation. I am here for the residents, ALL of them, and this proposal
keeps Oshtemo safe and sanitary while reducing new sewer connection costs.”