In 2006, the Independence Township Board of Trustees established a Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA) for Sashabaw Road. The CIA was created in conformance with the Corridor Improvement Authority Act (PA 280, Public Acts of 2005).
Corridor Improvement Authority Map
Although PA 280 authorizes a broad range of activities in which a CIA can be engaged, the activities of the Sashabaw Corridor Improvement Authority have been more narrowly defined by the Township Board. The CIA is focused on providing specific public improvements that will enhance existing business activity and stimulate new investment that is consistent with Township policies. As a result, the improvements contemplated include:
Acquisition of right-of-way and the widening of Sashabaw Road north of the Interstate 75 interchange;
Improvements to the Interstate 75 bridge and interchange; and
Completion of streetscape improvements, such as landscaping, irrigation, signage, and coordinated lighting.
The chief means of financing for the CIA is through the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The TIF district generally includes properties which front on Sashabaw Road extending from Clarkston to Maybee Roads. TIF revenues are captured from the increases in real and personal property over the base year of 2006. In other words, property taxes collected within the District as of 2006 continue to be collected. Sources of tax increment revenues include the Township, Oakland County, and Oakland Community College. In order to lessen the impact on both the Township and other taxing jurisdictions, the Township is capturing only 50% of the eligible taxes.
Due to the cost of the road improvements, the CIA is seeking both public funding and private contributions. In the case of the road projects, CIA monies will be used to meet the required local match for state and/or federal funds.
While the focus of the CIA is on improving both the interchange and Sashabaw Road (primarily from Waldon Road to Clarkston Road), a more minor but significant project is the completion and extension of streetscape improvements that could not be done when the boulevard was constructed due to financial reasons. The CIA Board intends to proceed with streetscaping, probably on a phased basis, once a final roadway design is agreed to by MDOT and RCOC. The CIA has initiated design and irrigation plans for the portion of Sashabaw Road south of Waldon.