By Helen A. Granger, staff writer
The Michigan Supreme Court of Appeals will not hear the case between the city of Corunna and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Corunna had appealed a lower court decision regarding the millpond dam on the Shiawassee River. (The city had said the state owned the dam; courts had ruled the city owns the dam.)
In a Sept. 29 letter from the Michigan Supreme Court of Appeals the court stated it would not hear the city’s appeal of a lower court judgment concerning the dam. “On order of the Court, the application for leave to appeal the October 21, 2014 judgment of the Court of Appeals is considered, and it is denied, because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.”
“We (the city) were already planning to withdraw the appeal when this happened,” City Manager Joe Sawyer said in an Oct. 5 interview with The Independent. “The DNR classified the dam as a ‘significant hazard’ several years ago and we developed a plan for the removal and have been searching for grants,” Sawyer said when it was determined that the residents did not want to rebuild or repair the dam and it would have to be removed.
One such grant is a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Habitat Grant. GEI Consultants of Michigan (from Lansing) assisted the city – in conjunction with the Friends of the Shiawassee River – in preparing a grant application for the removal of the dam.
The same day that the Supreme Court letter arrived denying Corunna’s request that the Supreme Court hear the dam appeal, the city received word that they had qualified to apply for the Aquatic Habitat grant.
The estimated removal project cost is $332,000 and the grant request is for $300,000, Sawyer said.
That means that the city has to come up with $30,000 which is a far cry from the estimated $2 million to rebuild the dam and the original $500,000 estimate to tear the dam out.
If the grant is received the removal could start in 2016 with completion in 2017.