The issue has to do with surveying the border between Indiana and Michigan. (If you’re a Michigander, dependent on hand-based maps, that’s the area between the palm and wrist.) When the original survey was performed in the 1820s they used wooden posts, most of which are long gone. The boundaries are generally known, but small differences can lead to problems. So, the states agreed to re-monument the border.
The new snag is that it’s taken awhile to get going, and Michigan doesn’t think the original cost estimate is reasonable. Apparently the original estimate from 2009 figured for about $1 million in expenses with each state footing half the bill. But, Michigan thinks that the estimates weren’t accurate Michigan anticipates that the true cost is more like $2 million.
Michigan insists that a survey crew needs to spend eight hours a day occupying a point on the boundary to get an accurate global positioning reading from satellites, for example. Indiana surveyors think the same work could be done in less than three hours.
“If you do it their way, it costs about $1,600 a day. If you do it our way, it costs $600 a day,” [St. Joseph County Surveyor John] McNamara said. “You can see how fast the extra costs add up.”
Indiana has only appropriated $500,000. So, it sounds like the states are going to haggle over the budget before they get started. Michigan should figure a way to get a bridge involved so Indiana could give them $1.7 billion the way we are to Kentucky.