WNEM – Rising from the Floods

WNEM has a news video on the second anniversary of the dam failures and takes an in-depth look at the aftermath and recovery.

View video here!

Independent Forensic Team (IFT) Final Report

From the FLTF:

On May 4, the Independent Forensic Team (IFT) investigating the May 19, 2020, failures of the Edenville and Sanford Dams released its final forensic report. In addition to findings on the physical mechanisms of the dam failures presented in the interim report, the final report addresses the characteristics of the flood and other factors that contributed to the failures. These factors include those related to the various organizations involved with the dams over their 95-year existence.


Governor Signs Appropriations Bill

From the FLTL:

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, after receiving approval last week from the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate, today signed the supplemental bill that included $200 million of support for the rebuilding of the Four Lakes dams and restoring our community’s future.

This funding will significantly lower the burden on property owners for bringing back our lakes, and will ensure we will stay on track for construction.

“These appropriations have now passed through the Michigan House and Senate, and been signed by Governor Whitmer,” said Dave Kepler, president of FLTF. “We are grateful, as property owners and our community, to have a significantly lower financial burden and are pleased to know our future with beautiful lakes and safe, well-functioning dams is one step closer.”

See our previous News Flash for more details about the appropriation.

Please tune in to our April 6 webinar for information about the impact of this appropriation on our path forward.

Legislature Approves $200 M Grant for FLTF

Governor Announced Support for Bill

News Flash from the Four Lake Task Force

Today, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed an appropriation that included $200 million to support the rebuilding of the Four Lakes dams which will restore our community’s future. We expect the measure to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who announced her support of the bill yesterday. We appreciate her empathy for the community’s recovery since the dam failures.

Historically, this will be one of the largest project appropriations for a community of our size. This funding will significantly lower the burden on property owners and make it possible to stay on track for construction.

In addition to the $200 million state grant for the Four Lakes restoration, $15 million was appropriated to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for department resources and expenses related to permitting, inspection, review and consultation for projects associated with flooding and dam management related to the dam failure in May 2020. The $15 million appropriation includes $3 million to match an estimated $9 million of funds from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services Emergency Watershed Protection (NRCS EWP) program that will be used for the remaining debris removal and to address shoreline erosion that is occurring from the dam failures.

“It is an incredible accomplishment to get this type of funding for our community,” said FLTF President Dave Kepler. “The State grants and remaining federal matches will allow us to complete the Recovery Phase and fill a significant gap in the $250 million lake restoration planning estimate outlined in our May 2020 Four Lakes Restoration Plan.”

To read the News Flash in full, find out how the funding will impact your assessment or if interim financing will still be needed, please see the FLTF News Flash located here

Midland County Board of Commissioners Meeting

Next Tuesday, March 15 at 9:00 a.m., there will be a meeting of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. At that meeting, the Four Lakes Task Force plans to propose a resolution to the Board dealing with $10 million in bridge financing in anticipation of the long term funding currently working its way through the state legislature. This resolution will ask the County Board to approve the plan of financing and to request the County to act as secondary security for any anticipated notes or bonds.

This step in the Four Lake Task Force’s financial plan is very important so that ongoing work is not delayed and Federal funding is not lost as a result. If you believe in the efforts being made to restore the lakes, please try to attend this meeting and express your support of the resolution. We ask that anyone from the SLA  who wants to attend, please email John Kinkema at johnkinkema@gmail.com. John will be coordinating the SLA presence at the meeting. 

SLA Donation for Vegetation Control

The SLA board of directors voted to donated $10,000 to the FLTF for vegetation control on Sanford Lake. We believe this will help in the efforts to control the tree growth problem prevalent on the lake bottoms.

Coyotes on the Lakebottoms

From the FLTF:

On January 20, the Midland Daily News (MDN) had a front-page article about increasing sightings of coyotes in and around Sanford Lake. A local resident also advised FLTF of abundant coyotes hunting and living among the recently sprouted trees on the Wixom Lake bottomland. The MDN article included comments from individuals proposing hunting as a way to deal with the coyotes. FLTF reminds the public that hunting with rifles and setting traps on the drained lakebottoms is not allowed for public safety reasons. Hunting with shotguns, in compliance with state hunting regulations, is permitted. FLTF is planning control programs in 2022 for the lakebottom trees. These trees are new habitat that has attracted mice, rabbits and the coyotes that eat them. If the trees are eliminated, this will also discourage the coyotes, as it will eliminate cover for the coyotes’ food source and the coyotes themselves. Tips for dealing with coyotes: Put trash out in the morning Don’t put your pet’s food outside Accompany your pet outside Scare coyotes off by clapping your hands, yelling, banging pots and pans, and making a lot of noise Remember they’re wild animals – don’t try to get close to them
Lakebottom Access & Use Rules

Article on FLTF website

RestoreTheLakes Communications

The Restore the Lakes team has prepared a FAQ for those interested in hearing about the latest developments.

SLA Annual Meeting Makeup Event

Attention Sanford Lake Association members! As many of you know, our annual membership meeting in Aug. was rained out just as we started. We have now rescheduled the event for Oct. 19th.

Representatives Annette Glenn and Roger Hauck will be speaking about dam safety and dam funding on October 19, 6:30 p.m., at Meridian High School. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

It is a members only event. There will be an opportunity to join or renew your SLA membership at the door. Don’t miss this chance to hear from our elected officials!

Independent Forensic Team Releases Interim Report

The intern report has been released by the forensic investigation team.

Read Report here