Last night, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) had a public hearing for the permitting of Phase V - the last phase that will put the new spillways in for Edenville Dam. While we are managing through this season’s weather, all dams are now under construction and contracted and all bids are in. Preparations are underway to ramp up for a full construction summer season on all four dams.
This is a complex project, and given the increased cost of the projects, we have received many questions and are answering them all. Answers to many of these questions can be found in the FAQ section of our website and we encourage you to review the site. Some of the top questions this week are listed below, and this will be a feature of the news flash going forward.
The approval of a Capital Assessment is one of the last steps to ensure the lakes will all be restored. We continue to work on lowering this burden by focusing on cost reductions and advocating for grants and programs for people in need. This is “Plan A” to restore the Four Lakes - there is no “Plan B.”
Financing is a big conversation as well as a personal decision for property owners, and we want to make sure you have as much information as possible. Please email email@example.com if you can't find what you need on the SAD page of the website.
Four Lakes Task Force
Assessment Amounts Will Be Updated Early Next Week
The FLTF team is working hard to update parcel benefit factors based on the conversations and objections received at the public hearing. We hope to have most of these changes made and communicated to property owners by the end of the day on Monday the 29th. We will send a news flash on Monday when the map is ready to be reviewed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the lake level special assessment based on parcel benefits rather than property value?
In Michigan, lake level special assessments must be based on benefits derived. In addition, the levying and collection of special assessments under Part 307 must conform as nearly as possible to the Michigan Drain Code. What this means is that lake level special assessments are similar to drain assessments, and are based on the benefit to the property, not the owner, and not the taxable value of a home on the property. As in the case of a drain project, FLTF is required to calculate the cost of the lake level project and then assign a percent of that cost to the properties benefiting from the project.
When people search the internet about Michigan special assessments they may see rules about other types of assessments that may utilize market value tests. The methodology for lake level special assessments apportions the cost of the project according to the benefit derived.
How come my annual Capital Assessment payment estimate multiplied by 40 doesn't equal the total Capital Assessment principal?
Financing has principal and interest components. The principal is what is owed before interest is added to the total Capital Assessment. The average annual payment, which includes interest, is what you will pay over the 40 years of the assessment. Multiplying the total annual payment by 40 equals the total amount you will pay including interest. Similar to a mortgage paid over 30 years, the total of payments is greater than the amount of money borrowed due to interest charged by the lender.
What will the commissioners vote on at the February 6th joint meeting of the Midland and Gladwin County Boards of Commissioners?
The following resolutions are being brought forward for approval:
Computation of cost for the 2025-2029 Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Assessment and the computation of cost for the revised restoration construction project costs
Assessment roll for the 2025-2029 O&M Assessment
Assessment roll for the revised Capital Assessment
Resolution approving the Plan of Financing for the Lake Restoration Project and full faith and credit pledge.
These resolutions are required to complete financing and are based on the counties’ decision to restore and replace the dams and lake levels and existing court orders and regulators’ positions on the following facts:
The restoration of the dams must be completed to return the Four Lakes to legal compliance with the normal (legal) lake levels.
The counties’ own the dams and lakes, and they are under the State’s regulatory environmental and safety oversight.
The joint county agreements that exist between Gladwin and Midland counties and FLTF are related to the Four Lakes Restoration Project.
On Tuesday, February 6th, the Gladwin and Midland county boards of commissioners will meet at Dow Diamond for a joint session to review and vote on the computation of costs and special assessment rolls for the FL SAD.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting. Please note that this is a change in venue from what was originally planned. This meeting will take place at 4:00 pm at Dow Diamond in downtown Midland.