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Four Lakes Task Force News Flash

Keeping you updated you on the latest information and current progress

toward bringing back our lakes.

Understanding Bankruptcy

On July 31, 2020, Boyce Hydro, LLC and Boyce Hydro Power, LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection pursuant to Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

A few key points related to the filings:

  • Boyce Hydro Power, LLC is the Boyce entity that owns the three Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses for the Sanford, Secord and Smallwood dams. Boyce Hydro, LLC is the Boyce entity that operates the dams.
  • A separate limited liability company owns each of the dams, and certain lands are owned by other Boyce entities (e.g. Boyce Michigan, LLC). At this time, none of these other Boyce entities have filed for bankruptcy.
  • In a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding, in most cases, the business remains open and operational. When a bankruptcy case is filed, all efforts to collect on a debt are halted (“stayed”), and anyone having a claim on a creditor must proceed in the bankruptcy court to receive what is owed to them.
  • In this case, Boyce Hydro Power, LLC and Boyce Hydro, LLC, (the “debtors”) are seeking relief from the bankruptcy court that would allow them to restructure and remain in business.

How does the bankruptcy impact FLTF’s ability to acquire the properties through eminent domain (condemnation)?

At this time, it is not clear. The only two entities that filed are Boyce Hydro, LLC and Boyce Hydro Power, LLC. The real property interests are held by other Boyce entities that did not file for bankruptcy protection. At the present time, the counties are proceeding with efforts to acquire the property by condemnation.

Condemnation is a legal process that gives local, state or federal government agencies the power to take private property for public use, so long as the owner is paid fair compensation. This is also known as eminent domain.

On July 31, 2020, FLTF filed condemnation lawsuits in Midland and Gladwin county circuit courts. There will be a hearing to determine the just compensation concerning the properties. In the end, we are confident FLTF will be able to acquire the properties.

DNR Responds to Secord Concerns

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) responded on August 13 to concerns posed by Secord Lake residents related to bringing back the lake levels. "The failure of Boyce Hydro Power, LLC (Boyce) to conduct safety inspections and complete necessary repairs is the reason that the lake remains drawn down.”

Read Letter


FERC Commissions Indpendent Forensic Investigation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said this week that an independent forensic investigation team is now able to move forward with its examination of the May 19 failures of the Edenville and Sanford dams and operations of Smallwood and Secord dams near Midland. The forensic team will operate completely independently of Boyce, FERC and EGLE to conduct the investigation, and will prepare one report to cover all four dams.

Read Full Announcement
FEMA Opens Drive Through Centers in Midland and Gladwin

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened a first-of-its-kind drive-through center at Dow Diamond in Midland, and a similar center in Gladwin at 401 South State St.

Center hours at Dow Diamond are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday; and 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Hours in Gladwin are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Residents may drop off documentation for their disaster assistance applications at these centers and talk with FEMA personnel who can scan documents and quickly answer questions about disaster assistance programs.

Submit Applications by September 4
Deadline Nears for SBA Loans

We continue to actively work on erosion control with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), local property owners and the community. The deadline for submitting a loan application to the Small Business Administration (SBA) is Sept. 4, 2020. Go to the FLTF website erosion page for full details.

If you have not contacted us about erosion on your property please do so today via email at kaylas@fourlakestaskforce.org or call (989) 941-3005. In your email please include your name, address, phone number and a brief description of your erosion concern.

Erosion Control Resources
Four Lakes Task Force

233 Larkin Street, Midland, MI 48640

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