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Schools closed again Wed., Road crews running out of money

Jan 29th, 2014 - State News

— Many schools in Michigan are closed for another day as dangerously cold temperatures linger across the state.

The list of closings isn't as long Wednesday as it was on Tuesday, with schools including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Wayne State University in Detroit and Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant holding classes.

The University of Michigan said Tuesday marked the first time since 1978 that the Ann Arbor campus didn't hold classes due to weather.

Still, hundreds of Michigan elementary, middle and high schools were shut. All Detroit public schools are closed Wednesday for another day. Students in Flint Community Schools on Wednesday had their third consecutive day off because of cold weather.

Some other school districts that shut down Tuesday were reopening.

— Michigan counties are nervously watching as their road maintenance budgets are depleted because of nastier winter weather than usual.

The County Road Association of Michigan says local agencies are rapidly spending their road maintenance budgets and it could leave less for much-needed repairs in the summer.

Counties are responsible for maintaining most local roads across Michigan besides highways. County officials say with at least six weeks of winter left, 2014 will be remembered as an expensive one for road plowing amid heavy snow and single-digit temperatures.

Michigan's 83 county road agencies have been urging lawmakers to boost funding for transportation. Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to raise gasoline taxes is stalled, but counties are hopeful legislators will commit some of projected budget surplus to temporarily increase road funding.

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