CITY OF CORUNNA officials have recently reported that the Corunna Dam (center of photo) may not be removed in 2018, as previously planned, though city officials still have their fingers crossed that work can begin this year. Corunna Assessor/Planner Merilee Lawson, City Manager Joe Sawyer and the Corunna City Council have obtained nearly $800,000 in grant funds to be used for dam removal and the enhancement of the river and adjacent Heritage Park. The project calls for the removal of the dam, which dates back to the mid-1800s, and the addition of a boardwalk, a fishing pier and a handicap-accessible canoe/kayak launch at the end of Brady Street, along with other improvements to the park.
Despite all the planning, the city is waiting for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to produce all the necessary approvals before the project can proceed. In the meantime, the city is tweaking its plan to ensure the banks of the river will be able to withstand the powerful force of water coming around the river’s bend just north of the current dam location. Because of this unexpected delay, the city will be hard-pressed to put its plan into action this spring.
Luckily, the grant funding – which includes a $301,500 Michigan DNR grant, a $25,000 Saginaw WIN grant, a $155,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant, an additional $30,000 WIN grant and a $288,000 Michigan Trust Fund grant – is secure. The city will be ready to bid the work and begin the project, just as soon as project approval comes down from the MDEQ, reports Lawson.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)