IONIA COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION

 

 

Business Hours

 

Monday Thru Friday

7:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.

 

Dorothy G. Pohl - Managing Director

  

With pride, the Road Commission for Ionia County strives to provide the

highest quality roads and bridges to the public and commercial users in

the most effective manner possible

HISTORY

The voters of Ionia County elected to go under County Road Law on April 7, 1919

The first commission was appointed at a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 15, 1919

There were five candidates for the Commission.

Fred W. Green      R. H. Hall     Fred H. Knox      Samuel Velte      Mr. Church

       21 Votes            22 Votes          17 Votes            Un-known         Un-known   

The Choice was made by elimination, the one receiving the highest number being elected in each of three votings. All Commissioners were first appointed until December 31, 1920 at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors on October 16, 1920, through some misunderstanding, the terms of the commissioners was established at three years instead of six , as provided by the statute and the expiration dates of their terms was then set as follows:

Fred H. Knox - December 31, 1921        R. H. Hall - December 31, 1922        Fred W. Green - December 31, 1923

The first meeting of the Board of County Road Commissioners was held on April 22, 1919 and Mr. Green was elected Chairman of the Board and retained this position until he assumed the Governorship of the State of Michigan, January 1, 1927. The monthly meeting dates were established as the first Tuesday of each month at the hour of one thirty (1:30 P.M.) in the afternoon.

 

Frank F. Rogers, State Highway Commissioner, in conference with the Board of County Road Commissioners, May 12,1919 recommended the trunkline roads to be included in the County Road System. These trunklines were Roads connecting the following points: 

 

One from Ionia to Belding and west to the County Line - Later known as M-44; another was a road from the County Line southeast of Portland, running through the Village of Portland to Ionia, Saranac and Lowell - later called M-16. The third was from Pewamo to Ionia, through Lyons, later known as M-21. The fourth was a road from Belding to Lowell, later known as M-91 and the fifth was a route across the southwest corner of the county through Lake Odessa,
later called M-50. Other short stretches of improved roads were also adopted as county road. Mr. Rogers outlined to the Road Commission their new duties and at this same meeting, E.L. Vohlers was appointed the first Road Superintendent.

 

The Board decided early to construct roads under the Covert Act and the survey for the first road was ordered at their regular meeting held on July 1, 1919. At the November 4th, 1919 meeting, five petitions for Covert roads were filed. At this same meeting the Board appointed Allan M. Williams as County Highway Engineer, from this time on the Board engaged in an energetic construction program which together with that of the State Highway Department was soon to equip Ionia County with a road system that would best serve its taxpayers.


 At their October 1935 meeting the Board of Supervisors adjusted the terms of the Road Commissioners so as to expire with the even year according to statute. Thereafter all terms would be for a period of six (6) years.

 

During the period of time since its establishment the Road Commission has had the following persons in control of the "Directorship" of the Commission:

1919-1956  Allan M. Williams - Engineer/Manager

1957-1969  Donald W. Ackerman - Superintendent/Manager

1970-1971  Norman W. Witteveen - Engineer/Manager

1971-1992  Gordon E.Scheid - Superintendent/Manager

1992-Current   Dorothy G. Pohl - Managing Director

During the period of time since its establishment the persons serving on the Board of County Road Commissioners are as follows:

Fred W Green                      1919-1926 

Fred H Knox                         1919-1935
R. H. Hall                             1919-1928
Fred A. Chapman                  1927-1940
L. C. David                           1929-1929
Robert G. Palmer                  1929-1948
Chester M. Divine                  1935-1948
Lewis A. Mick                       1939-1946
Clarence S. Johnson              1946-1952
Harry Johnson                      1948-1972
Ray Smith                            1948-1951
Sam Detmers                       1951-1974
Ermal G. Garlinger                 1952-1970
Stephen Rice                       1970-1976
William H. Fout        1972-1978                             

 

Burton Stencel                        1975-1981
Eugene Cook                          1976-2000
Kenneth Thompson                 1978-1990
Lewis Gasper                           1981-1992
Thomas Ferguson                    1990-1998
Herbert Cusack                        1992-2014
Earl S. Strater                         1998-2011
MaryClaire Cusack                     2001-2006
Frederick A. Chapman               2006-2012
Stephanie Hurlbut                    2011-2012
Chuck Minkley                      2011-Current
Bill Weisgerber                        2011-2016
Ken Gasper                          2012-Current
Albert Almy                         2012-Current
Karen Bota                          2014-Current
Bob Dunton                         2016-Current

The McNitt Act which was 130 of 1931 was enacted for the certification of roads within the county after which Act 36 of the Public Acts of 1939 was enacted for a re-certification of roads placing them in two groups:

 

1.Roads which were part of the county road system prior to September 17, 1931 which was the effective date of Act 130.

2. All other roads taken over by the Board of County Road Commissioners as county roads subsequent to September 17, 1931 and prior to July 1, 1939, and which are in actual use for public travel at least three months each year.

 

The Board of County Road Commissioners had to adopt certain road mileage each year to satisfy this and those roads had to be named in the minutes of the County Board of Supervisors and attested to by the commission.

 

During this period and up until the enactment of Act 51 of the Public Acts of 1951 all roads were either designated as "county roads" or "township roads" however after 1951 "county roads" became "primary roads" and "township roads" became "local roads". December 7, 1951 the Board of County Road Commissioners submitted a listing of roads to be placed under the County Road system which in turn was submitted to the State Hwy. Dept. for approval.