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Two entities better than one for Skunk Hollow

September 8, 2011
Marshall Independent

Maybe Skunk Hollow Road isn't high on the city's or county's priority list, but both entities can make a statement by working through the issues surrounding the road together.

It's a complicated issue.

The road was made part of the city of Marshall way back in 1996. The city got $80,000 from the county to resurface it, but that never happened. Today, that $80,000 has grown to $122,000 and remains in a city account. Unfortunately, the costs to make significant improvements to the road have also ballooned to the neighborhood of $500,000.

Skunk Hollow, also known as North Bruce Street or Lyon County Road 67, is not widely considered a main road in Marshall but it shouldn't be ignored, either. Ignoring it is what got us here in the first place.

And this is about more than a stretch of road; there's principle involved, too.

The city and county, and maybe even Fairview Township, have a golden opportunity to set an example of local governments working together to solve a problem instead of watching a problem get swept under the rug. It may sound idealistic, but it certainly is not unrealistic for taxpayers to expect elected officials - even if they're form separate governing bodies - to be able to put their heads together to work out an issue.

The city and county should jointly take the lead on this one, and in that respect, have agreed to negotiate about how best to handle Skunk Hollow. The township can't afford to fix the road and we don't believe neither the city nor the county should have to solely take on the financial burden of fixing it.

Avoiding fixing the road shouldn't be an option. There is some money available for it - money that had been earmarked to fix it in the first place - so that's a start. The question now is, where will new funding come from to cover all the costs?



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