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Homeowners group files motion to remove judge overseeing lake restoration assessment appeal

Drone shot of flooding in Midland
City of Midland
Much of the City of Midland was flooded after water overtopped dams in Midland and Gladwin counties in May 2020.

A new development has emerged in the appeal case against the Four Lakes Task Force's special assessment district.

Last Thursday, a group of homeowners know as the Heron Cove Association filed a motion in the Midland County Circuit Court for Judge Stephen Carras to step back from presiding over the case.

The association says Carras has a conflict of interest because he helped set up order 307 in 2019 that allowed for the assessment district to be designed.

"Judge Carras has been hearing many of these cases and ruling against us," said Jan Colton, president of the Heron Cove Association. "Now to uncover that he has this relationship with the Four Lakes Task Force only makes it that much more urgent that we protect rights."

Homeowners have reached out to WCMU saying the assessments would charge them an additional $3,000 a year for the 40-year assessment period.

Colton says the goal of the appeal is an attempt to lower the assessments fees as a last resort for homeowners to declare chapter 13 bankruptcy.

"There won't be enough money in the Treasury in order to pay these debts that they want to put us in with these loans and so we're going to be either put in the position of defaulting on them or everybody is going to have their special assessments raised upwards in order to cover the deficit," Colton told WCMU.

The motion hearing is set to take place Thursday, March 21 at the Midland County Circuit Court.

Brianna Edgar is a newsroom intern covering the Tri-Cities for WCMU.
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