EDENVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Residents who lost their lakes when dams collapsed in mid-Michigan could be getting expensive long-term bills to restore them.
People near Wixom and Sanford lakes in Midland and Gladwin counties could pay thousands of dollars per year for 40 years, if that duration is allowed by the state, the Four Lakes Task Force said Thursday during an online meeting.
Residents near Secord and Smallwood lakes could face annual assessments of under $1,000.
“I knew the number was going to be larger than what they initially planned, but I did not anticipate a number that big or for that long,” said Charles Hudler, who has property at Wixom Lake. “I guess I am in a bit of sticker shock.”
The Edenville dam failed during a steady rain in May, draining Wixom Lake and unleashing the Tittabawassee River, which then overwhelmed the Sanford dam, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Dam operator Boyce Hydro Power, which has filed for bankruptcy protection, has blamed the state and residents, accusing them of insisting on high water levels.
The Four Lakes Task Force wants to acquire the dams through condemnation proceedings.
“We all agree that Boyce is the entity that’s accountable for this, but the burden is coming on us to go clean this up” because of the bankruptcy, said Dave Kepler, chairman of the task force.
Read more on the Midland dam breaks on Great Lakes Now:
Featured image: A nearly barren Wixom Lake stands dry after severe flooding forced the failure of Edenville Dam on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 in Edenville Township north of Midland, Mich. (Jake May/The Flint Journal, MLive.com via AP)