Road Types: County vs. Platted vs. Private
Prior to 1932, all county roads were maintained by their respective townships. In 1931, Public Act No. 130, called the Township Road Relief Act, was passed. It is now referred to as the McNitt Act. This act required the counties to set up a Road Commission for each county and to take over jurisdiction of 20% of the townships' roads during the years 1932-1936. These roads were certified with the State of Michigan and became the base of each Road Commission's network of roads. Private Roads and Platted Roads were the only types of roads that were not certified by the Road Commission during these years.
Private Roads are any roads that have ownership of the right-of-way, including driveways. There are still many Platted Roads in Montmorency County that have never been developed. They have been dedicated for the use of the public by some supervisor's plat but are no longer marked and in many cases are wooded over. The adjoining property owners on these roads can have them abandoned in Circuit Court, or they could be improved and made into County-maintained Roads, but most of them just lie forgotten.
The Road Commission does not have jurisdiction over the Village of Hillman streets, and the following articles will not address them.
Act 51 of 1951 established the funding of the State Road systems and also qualified Primary and Local County Roads. Primary Roads are the main "farm to market" roads in the county. Some Primary Roads in Montmorency County are Pleasant Valley Road, Co. Rd. 612, Co. Rd. 624, Co. Rd. 459, Co. Rd. 491, Co. Rd. 487, and Co. Rd. 489.
Local roads basically serve the landowners in a township. They are often gravel roads and sometimes barely passable trail roads. Most Primary and Local Roads are maintained year round by the Road Commission.
Montmorency County has no Seasonal Roads.
The Road Commission's primary concern is to keep up the existing roads, the maintenance of which takes up the major part of our budget. The Road Commission will only take over a new section of road when we are given the right-of-way (66 ft. width) and when it has been brought up to our specifications (paved) by someone other than the Road Commission. Construction on a county road (for example: improving a trail road to a wide, paved road) by law requires us to get 50% of the funds from an outside source. Some counties have carried this on to 100%. At this time, Montmorency County requires the Township to incur 60% of construction costs. We have had many people stop in who were led to believe the County would take care of their road and after the first snowfall find out that it was not a County Road. If you are contemplating buying a home or building on a County Road, it is suggested that you stop in and inquire as to the status of the road going past the house.