On August 31, Four Lakes Task Force (FLTF) filed a motion seeking to be dismissed from the class-action lawsuit, Woods v. Midland County, that has been brought against multiple parties including FLTF, Boyce Hydro, Lee Mueller, and EGLE. The motion is scheduled for a hearing on October 28, 2020.
FLTF continues to maintain that lawsuits against the Task Force are without merit and including FLTF in any class action lawsuit is misguided. FLTF is a nonprofit organization representing the property owners of the four lakes. We act on behalf of the communities, the government and the Special Assessment District. Suing FLTF is equivalent to suing those who have suffered this loss.
This report is generally consistent with the framework and priorities of Four Lakes Task Force, including our desire to see the stabilization of the Tobacco side of the Edenville Dam.
The Last Two Years
In the 1920s, the Edenville, Sanford, Smallwood and Secord Dams were built to generate electrical power, creating four lakes. While interstate electric grids and efficient large generating plants diminished the value of the hydroelectric facilities over the past nearly 100 years, the lakes have become a naturalized part of the environment and have created significant economic, recreational and social benefits to our community and the counties of Gladwin and Midland. The fisheries and ecosystems that have developed around these systems have been an asset to the communities and the state.
Purchase Expected to Be Final by Early 2022
Today, Boyce Trusts and Four Lakes Task Force (FLTF) signed a $9.4 million purchase agreement for the acquisition of Wixom, Sanford, Secord and Smallwood Dams and lake bottoms. The purchase agreement is a major milestone in maintaining the legal level of all four lakes in accordance with the Circuit Court order and Part 307 of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. The sale of properties will occur over the next two years, with a final close for all properties in January 2022.
The Four Lakes Task Force responded, by letter to FERC, to Boyce's March 15 Motion asking FERC to reconsider revoking the Edenville License and proposing the subsequent transfer of the license to Wolverine Hydro, LLC. You can find it in our Document Library.
The letter was authored by the Sanford Lake Preservation Association, which was renamed, "Four Lakes Task Force" last year. The Four Lakes Force consists of members from all four of the lake communities. Since the original filing to FERC was by SLPA and WLA in this matter, we used the former name, SLPA, to author the response letter.
To be very clear: this is not Sanford speaking for Wixom. It is the Four Lakes Task Force speaking on behalf of all four lakes, as delegated by Midland and Gladwin County.
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