Dam Replacement and Water Level

A nice letter from Jim Dull, (Barry County Drain Commissioner) was sent out, explaining that a Special Assessment District will be set up to fund the replacement of the dam.   (I think I’ve explained this in previous posts)  Basically, they wish to use the same system that has been in place for over a decade to fund the Gun Lake Improvement Board, who oversees keeping our lake clean and relatively-free of aquatic invasive species.  Easy-peasy.  They will have a public court hearing on July 31st, 2017 at 1:30 PM at the Hastings Courthouse to establish this Special Assessment District for the dam replacement.  It’s a good plan, in my opinion – it shares the financial burden amongst everyone who owns property with lake access.  And the new dam will be relatively inexpensive, as major projects go.

But there’s one item that they are stressing, and I will too: the lake water level will NOT be changed.  There’s actually a Michigan Statute that sets the level of our lake.

In 1921, the water level was officially set at 744.32′ above sea level.  Now, using far more sophisticated measurement devices and standards, the lake will be set at 743.90′ NAVD88.  It sounds lower; but it’s not.  On the other hand – the dam is even more saggy/leaky than it was last year; so our low water levels this summer will seem pretty darn low.  When the new dam brings the level back up to its 1921 height – it will feel like the lake was “raised”.

Since my readers are brilliant and eloquent, I’m hoping you’ll all help squelch the rumors 🙂


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