News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Residents impacted by dam failures could be asked to pay

"playing with water 5" by wester is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

People living on lakes drained by the failures of two Mid-Michigan dams in May could be asked to pay hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars a year in annual assessments to rebuild.

The Four Lakes Task Force was in the process of buying the series of four dams when the Edenville and Sanford dams were overwhelmed after days of heavy rain.

The dam failures drained Wixom and Sanford lakes. 

Task Force president David Kepler says a proposed special assessment would help pay for more than 300 million dollars in restoration costs.  

“When you have something this big, there are going to be people who see this as reasonable and people who feel they can’t afford it and we have to address that,” said Kepler.

A final decision on the potential assessments is not expected until next spring.

Kepler says restoration of the lakes may take another three to six years.