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  • Jordan D. Smith

Portland Township Responds to Rumored Cutler Road Paving

As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Earlier this month, online discussions on the Portland Community Facebook Page started up about a rumored paving project on Cutler Rd. Nobody seemed to have all the details, so the Beacon reached out to the Portland Township Supervisor Christian Jensen to get the facts.

”I am not sure where residents got the impression that this would be paved,” Jensen says, “but that is not currently in the plans.” In fact, very little of Cutler Rd. falls in the township at all according to Jensen . That fragment includes only about 0.18 of a mile (~950 feet) extending east of the former railroad bed which is now the Portland River trail. The photo above shows roughly where this stretch begins and ends. The remainder of Cutler Rd. extending east is within Danby Township up to the intersection of Clintonia Rd.

Changes in state law many years ago placed the responsibility for township roads with county road commissions/departments, however townships have the option to work with the county to pave and chip and seal roads, and do dust control on unpaved road surfaces. The township would foot the bill though for work done by the Ionia County Road Department. Traditionally, Jansen says, this is funded by general funds, or for larger projects like paving, a small road millage. In this case, Jansen says that Portland and Danby townships have partnered to do improvements on Cutler Rd in the past, However, no plans for further paving are in the works right now.

“Both Portland and Danby Township would love to see Cutler Road paved to Clintonia Rd but even with combining resources we do not have enough to pay for that,” says Jensen , “we have discussed this many times but for now the best we could afford would be to place limestone to Clintonia Rd, while not as good as pavement it is much better than gravel.” We reached out to officials with the Ionia County Road Department for comment but requests were not returned as of this writing.

PHOTO: Google Maps


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