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Cass County Rural Task Force

1. What is the Rural Task Force?

The Rural Task Force in each region is charged with determining how to spend federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) dollars, and State Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF-D or "State-D") dollars on transportation projects in non-urbanized areas  and cities and villages with Census-counted populations of less than 5,000 people. This includes many townships.

The STP and State-D dollars can be used on a variety of road improvement projects. Typically in Cass County, the RTF funds have gone towards resurfacing projects and other

Public transit agencies such as Cass County Public Transit can also spend the federal STP dollars on projects.  Transit agencies cannot spend State-D funds.

2. How much money does Cass County get for its Rural Task Force projects?

For each year between 2017-2020, Cass County is projected to receive $448,625 in STP (federal) money per year, and $81,398 in "State-D" funds .  Please note that these targets are based on current estimates by the state and may change based on federal or state revenue changes over the next few years.

3. Who can apply for these funds? How do I apply?

In Cass County, possible applicants include the Village of Cassopolis, Village of Vandalia,  Village of Marcellus, Cass County Public Transit, and the Cass County Road Commission. Townships can apply via the Road Commission.  

The best way to propose a new project is to contact your appropriate local official. You should come to the RTF meeting with a reasonable cost estimate for your project.

4. Where can I spend the federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) dollars?

On roads that are eligible for federal-aid. For a map of roads that are federal-aid eligible, please see this map: http://mdotcf.state.mi.us/public/maps_nfc/pdf/NFC14_CASS.pdf. Any road that is listed as anything OTHER than "7- NFC Local" is eligible to use STP dollars.

5. Where can I spend "State-D" funds?

State-D funds can only be spent on roads that are built to all-season standards or are proposed to be built to all-season standards. For a map of current and proposed all-season roads, please consult: http://michigan.gov/documents/mdot/RTF_4_505851_7.pdf

Note that you can propose to add a road  to the all-season road network at any time, but then you must build it to all-season standards.

6. Do I need to provide local match when using the federal STP funds?

If you are using federal STP dollars, you must provide at least 20% of the total construction cost of a project using non-federal dollars. That means that you can use State-D dollars to match the federal dollars, and your community will not need to provide the match itself. Remember that in order to use the State-D money, however, you must be doing a project on a proposed or current all-season route. Keep in mind that with RTF funding, it is very possible that your community will not have to provide any local match at all!

7. Who votes on the projects?

One representative from the rural cities and villages in Cass County (currently, Village of Cassopolis), one representative from the Road Commission, and one representative from the transit agency (Cass County Transit) .

After the county meeting, a region task force comprising these representatives in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties meets to officially vote on the projects.  MDOT is eligible to vote on any projects using State D funds. So there are a total of ten voting representatives on the region task force.

8. How often does the Rural Task Force meet?

Usually, there is one meeting in each county per year to review projects and make changes as needed, and one region meeting per year to vote on changes. However, the RTF may meet more often if there are changes proposed to any project.

9. I still have questions. Who can I contact?

You can contact Brandon Kovnat, SWMPC Planner at kovnatb@swmpc.org or 269-925-1137 x1524 with questions. Joe Bellina from the Cass County Road Commission is also a good resource if your township is considering a project and wants to know more about the engineering standards involved.  Joe Bellina can be reached at jbellina@casscoroad.com

This page last updated on 6/1/2016.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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