Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

OK – I’ll admit that I got a little misty last night as I turned into the Orangeville Township Hall driveway to see that the parking lot was packed, overflowing out into the adjacent fields…. thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to the DEQ Public Comment meeting, and speaking your mind respectfully and eloquently.  I found it amazing, how our huge lake can still come together as a united community when there’s an issue that affects the lake!

There were some head-scratchers – like the absence of an Environmental Impact survey?  How can the agency named “Environmental Quality” ignore something like that??  How can there even BE a marina in a district zoned against it?  Or how could they issue the first Marina Permit without all their marina requirements being met??   As my dear husband says – “How can you do something first, then comply later?  What if I opened a restaurant – then complied with the Health Department after it had been open for a year??”

At any rate,  the DEQ should surely realize now that they gave us NO Public Notice for last year’s marina permit, because we lake residents take our “Guardianship of Our Waters” seriously.  And I LOVE YOU for that!!


DEQ Marina Expansion / Public Comment Tonight

Tonight’s the night that those who wish, can comment (and be counted!) to the DEQ on the proposed expansion of the Marsh Rd marina from 20 to 54 slips plus a boat launch.  They recently made some public comments that on May 26th they started building restrooms (and you KNOW that made me crazy-happy!); but a call this morning to Professional Code Inspections shows no Plumbing Permits have been applied for 😦

Another phone call confirmed another claim that a crosswalk will be painted on Marsh Rd, which is great news because that area is so congested on weekends……

The meeting will be held at the Orangeville Township Hall on Lindsey Rd, at 6 PM.  There is ample parking in front, and behind the building.

Poo, and Frustration….

No, it’s not a commercial about laxatives…. 😉

As I beat my head against the wall, trying to get someone, ANYONE?, to insist that restrooms be available 24/7 for the existing Gun Lake Landing 20-slip marina (and its proposed expansion to 54 slips) – it got me thinking about restrooms and how critical they are in our lives.

Can you imagine taking the family to Cedar Point for the day – and finding out there are no restrooms?!  How about a visit to the zoo, or museum, or concert, or sporting event with no restroom facilities?  How would you feel about letting your children play in the water at a beach if there were no restrooms??  (Did you just have an “eeeuwww” reaction?  I did.)  Public restrooms keep our world clean, and safe from pathogens* (see below).

REAL marinas have restrooms.  Hubby and I kept a 26′ sailboat at Eldean’s Marina in Holland for a few years – the restroom/shower facilities there were fantastic!  I think it’s safe to say that all true public marinas offer restrooms for their boaters – it’s a no-brainer: the marina is going to smell like a cesspool if they don’t.  They also offer “Sanitary Pumpout” – most big boats have heads (“boaty” word for bathroom) with holding tanks.  Even small boats carry portable toilets – heck, probably every pontoon manufacturer offers boats with “privacy nooks” for porta-potties/cassette toilets.

I remember going out on Gun Lake on my late father-in-law’s pontoon boat with the family.  We would bring along a little potty-training chair for the toddlers, since the old boat had a whopping 25 hp motor and getting a tyke back to the cottage before there was an “accident” was pretty much impossible.  Once we arrived at the cottage after a few hours of fun on the lake, the chair would be emptied into the toilet.  Easy-peasy; we were just keeping the lake clean.

Sadly, most of the people renting slips at Gun Lake Landing, don’t have cottages/restrooms nearby.  Where are they going to dump a porta-potty?  Where can they use a restroom themselves?  Ponder this math: 54 boats x 4 people per boat x 2 trips to the restroom in the course of a fun boating day = 432 bathroom visits per day (and that’s being conservative and assuming no beer is involved).  It is absolutely WRONG to expect the local businesses to pick up this burden; and since 2 of the 3 businesses I’m thinking of are restaurants – there’s no way on Earth that someone could carry a porta-potty through the door (and I highly doubt the Marijuana Dispensary will throw open their doors).   There is also no stipulation that the slip renters can’t stay overnight on their boats – I mean, LOTS of people do that in marinas, and pontoons with Camper Packages are seen frequently on our lake.  Eventually, our local businesses close for the night.  What do the slip renters do then??

We ALL know where the poo is going to go: our perfectly-clean lake.  And that makes me insanely angry – and the neighbors near the marina, too.  Their children and grandchildren play in the lake – they have enjoyed clean, safe water for decades (I have the water-test data to prove that).  I’m sure the slip renters don’t want to willingly defile our water – but necessity is what it is.  Besides, they don’t have to worry about a Brown Trout (I’m not talking fish here) washing up on their lakefront some morning.

And this isn’t something that can be passed off to the future.  There are 20 boaters who need restrooms NOW; and children who will be playing in the lake.

*Pathogens: here’s a little “Cootie 101” for my new readers:  We test for e-coli in water, because it’s the easiest, cheapest intestinal bacteria to test for.  But where you find e-coli, you can be assured that its other intestinal pals are lurking, also: pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Heliobacter, Streptococci, Enterobacter, Shigella, Clostridium, etc etc etc.  Some of these have the potential to kill; ALL of them can make you miserably sick.  And once introduced into the water – they can live for anywhere from days to months – and THAT is why we regularly test our water and THAT is why I’m being so bullheaded about this restroom issue.


Cuddy Drain Meeting Wed. May 10th Notes

It was a great meeting!  We had a good audience turnout, with zero complaints.  Here is the happy news:

Dredging: DONE.  Silt curtain was removed, bathymetric scanning is complete and they actually dredged a little bit more than planned.  They planned on removing 10,000 cubic yards of sediment, with another 2,000 cu.yd. built into the contingency – they actually removed 12,300 cu.yd’s of sediment.  This resulted in a slight cost overrun of 2%, or $7,410.00.  There were additional costs brought about by more LRE inspection time than previously accounted for – but as someone said from the audience: “Pay ’em – they’re worth every penny!”

Upstream remediation: ALMOST DONE.  The culverts have been replaced at Timber Creek – they are just finishing up seeding/mulching.  Unfortunately, a property owner along 1st St asked for extra riprap so he can ride his ATV across the drain which divides his property.  Since he had already ridden across, and tore up some of the erosion prevention….sigh… the commissioners voted to do some prevention for $1000, rather than go back later for restoration.

Sediment Control: WORKING.  The Sedimentation Basin has been in place; and before the contractors leave the area, they will scoop out whatever sediment has been collected so far.  Someone mentioned that there is some sediment collecting under the Patterson Bridge.  There will ALWAYS be some sediment – the watershed is quite rolling, and farmland is planted VERY close to the drains.  The good news is that the 2 collections points for sediment are easily accessible by an excavator, to be cleaned out.  Jim Dull, Barry County’s new Drain Commissioner, proposed checking the Sedimentation Basin at least twice a year (and that sounds good!)

Debris Control: WORKING.  The barrier is easily seen from Patterson Rd; and easily accessible via the easement

E-coli reduction: stay tuned 🙂  Our tests last fall showed lovely CLEAN, SAFE WATER (for the first time in decades).  I have been holding off on testing this year, until the majority of streambed work was finished.

New issues: That beautiful new bridge on Patterson is attracting fishermen.  It’s OK for them to fish from there – but it was proposed that “No Parking” signs be installed at the bridge.  And maybe a trash receptacle?  Rich Beukema says he has been picking up bait cartons and food wrappers left behind 😦

Lastly – and this is a BIGGIE:

NO TRESPASSING:  I know that the egress roads for the Sedimentation Basin (off 1st St), and the Debris Barrier (off Patterson), are acting as lures for those of us who love to hike in the woods along a babbling brook.  However, those roads are still on PRIVATELY-OWNED PROPERTY, whose owners were promised that only Drain Commission workers would be using the easements so kindly granted by the adjacent residents.  Without those easements, the things that will keep the Cuddy Channel clean and safe, would be lost.  Please stay OFF the private property, and encourage others to do the same.

The last, and probably FINAL meeting for the Cuddy Drain Board (at least regarding the Patterson bridge replacement and water-problems resolution) will be Wednesday June 14th at 10 AM at the Yankee Springs Township Hall.