The four lake communities have a choice when it comes to recovery and restoration efforts. Removing the dams would require a decades-long program to manage public safety while removing the dams, with all necessary permits, and an environmental restoration plan. Our preliminary engineering estimates predict that this effort would cost $125 million. This path forward has no funding source and no one is championing this effort.
The Four Lakes Task Force (FLTF) started 2020 with a signed purchase agreement with Boyce Hydro on December 31, 2019. As the Delegated Authority on behalf of Gladwin and Midland counties, we were in the process of securing interim financing, performing winter repairs on Edenville Dam, and scheduling special assessment hearings, with a plan to enter into the purchase of the dams in June. The May 19, 2020 rain event and dam failures changed everything.
2020 was an incredibly busy year and there is much work to do in 2021. Check out our 2020 Annual Operating Plan for an update on our progress and priorities.
2020 will soon be behind us, but our work in many ways is just starting.
The counties made the decision to take the Boyce property and escape from an owner and system that failed to keep us safe, left people without homes and facing major repairs and an uncertain future.
Regretfully, some of us will choose to move before we rebuild. It is unfair and wrong that the previous dam owner would be allowed to under-invest, and the very people that are impacted should pay. We live with these facts every day as we help people recover. We are blessed with an incredible team of volunteers and experts that are focused on helping people recover AND rebuild our future.
Friday, November 13th, FLTF and Boyce Hydro reached a settlement in connection with the condemnation litigation. In accordance with the settlement agreement, the counties on behalf of the Four Lakes Special Assessment District, will obtain ownership of the Boyce properties.
Four Lakes Task Force negotiated an access agreement with Boyce Hydro Power, and got a limited stay from the bankruptcy court, for the four dams the week of October 12.
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