It’s been a harsh winter in the U.P. and all Michigan roads have paid the price. With more and more potholes springing up, Michigan legislators are trying to find ways to repair the damage.
The House recently passed a package of bills that would dump $450 million into the state’s road project budget, but the state Senate is looking at other funding sources. One proposed solution would increase Michigan’s gas tax from 19 cents a gallon to 32.5 cents. These bills entered their third reading on the Senate floor today.
However, even if they are written into law, Indian reservation-owned gas stations like The Pines in Baraga County will still be exempt from state gas taxes. The new Keweenaw Bay Indian Community gas station moving into Marquette Township, which has already caused plenty of controversy, would also avoid any potential hike due to their sovereign status. The KBIC also owns The Pines.
Although most of the progress from last year was covered in snow, preliminary construction is starting up again. KBIC officials say they’ve already sent out a request for proposals to local design and engineering firms. They have some preliminary concepts in mind but need to come to a consensus before completing construction.
Once it’s built, the KBIC gas station will offer stiff competition in the Marquette area. Today, the price of gas at The Pines was $3.59, compared to $3.74 at the Marquette Holiday station. The average difference between The Pines and its competitors is about 12 to 15 cents.
KBIC officials hope to have the new station completed before winter begins.