Bill sent to Whitmer would lengthen bonds for dam repairs


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature on Tuesday finalized a bill that would lengthen the financing period of inland lake projects in the wake of flooding that damaged dams and drained lakes in the Midland area.

The legislation would extend, from 10 years to 40 years, the maximum maturity date of bonds issued to pay for lake-level control projects across the state. Special assessments are levied on lakefront properties and “back lots” with deeded or dedicated lake access to repay the borrowed funds.

The change would allow project costs — such as restoring four dams and lakes in Midland and Gladwin counties — to be spread out over more time and made more manageable for property owners. In May, a portion of the Edenville Dam failed amid heavy rainfall, and the Sanford Dam subsequently overflowed — sending floodwaters down the Tittabawassee River and causing an estimated $250 million-plus in damage.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign the measure, which won final approval after clearing the Senate and House 36-0 and 103-1 in recent weeks.

The Four Lakes Task Force, an authority formed by the two counties and area property owners, has released projected property assessments to repair the dams. Edenville Lake residents could pay between $1,650 and $2,357 annually for 40 years. Sanford Lake residents could be assessed between $1,477 and $2,110 a year.

Read More: Bill sent to Whitmer would lengthen bonds for dam repairs

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