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Canton holds lottery for street repair money
It's not quite a Mega Millions drawing, but 13 Canton neighborhoods have hit a lottery to share $1.5 million in street repairs.
That's the amount Canton is receiving from Wayne County for a first-round effort to fix local streets, under an initiative to help townships.
In the spirit of fairness, Canton officials asked homeowner associations to submit street-repair wish lists that Amy Hughesdon, township operations coordinator, said ranged from $50,000 to $200,000.
In all, 20 neighborhood groups asked for money, pushing the dollar amount beyond the $1.5 million and causing Supervisor Phil LaJoy and other officials to hold a lottery to determine winners.
As homeowners watched Wednesday evening, LaJoy drew bingo balls from a coffee can and matched them to numbers that already had been assigned to neighborhood groups.
By the time 13 numbers had been drawn, Canton's $1.5 million had been exhausted, leaving other neighborhoods hopeful of a second-round road fix that is supposed to come within the next year.
"This is something where we can get a little bit of road work done, so I can't argue with that," LaJoy said. "But in road dollars it's not a lot of money. Road work costs a lot of money."
Homeowner associations had to agree to pay 20 percent of the street repairs to qualify for the money, with the Wayne County dollars covering the rest. Hughesdon described most of the projects as cosmetic, such as replacing crumbling concrete and fixing damaged catch basins.
The lucky 13 neighborhoods winning the lottery were Forest Brook, Meadowbrook, Century Farms, Oakvale/Stonegate, Fairways West, Willow Homes, Nowland Estates, Canton Country Acres, Huntington Place No. 1, River Woods, Salem Manor, Royal Pointe and Glengarry I.
Hughesdon commended homeowner associations for working to submit proposals and winning the lottery – or losing – with class.
"They all went through the process with such patience and a positive attitude," she said. "I was impressed with their hard work."
Former Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano rolled out the Township Roads Initiative last summer, moving to fix neighborhood streets in the county's nine townships.
Ficano indicated a second phase would come, meaning another $1.5 million for Canton. Local officials are hopeful the goal will not change within the next year.
"We have more needs than we have dollars," LaJoy said, adding later, "Those people who didn't get (money) this year could get it next year."
Twitter: @CantonObserver