Below is an excerpt from an article in the Detroit News written by Beth LeBlanc. Subscribers to The Detroit News may read the full article.
"... The task force, whose authority is rooted in state law and a state court order, has stressed its transparency and accountability to the people of Midland and Gladwin counties. The group also is essentially the last one left to carry the load.
"The federal government was unable to force the private owner to stabilize the dams. The state made little progress in bringing the dams into compliance before one collapsed last year. And the counties didn't have the capacity to purchase, stabilize, operate and maintain the dams.
"'I’d just like to know the alternative if it wasn’t us doing it,' said Dave Kepler, chairman for the Four Lakes Task Force. 'You have a natural resource that was damaged, and it has to be fixed, and you can’t just leave infrastructure in the middle of all this. This is not a ‘walk away from it’ kind of scenario.'
"Leaders in Midland and Gladwin counties say the task force has been invaluable in navigating the task ahead. Without the group, the time frame for getting the dams back in working order would be two to three times longer, said Mark Bone, chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners who represents the county on the task force board.
"'The Four Lakes Task Force could have said, 'This is way too much, we’re out, 'one said. 'I honestly wondered if that would happen. They could have easily gone home, but they didn’t. They stayed put to see it through.'"
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