Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Hoadley: State should use budget to help cover dam repairs
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Mike Hoadley

State Rep. Mike Hoadley this week continued his push for crucial infrastructure funding needed for Gladwin and Midland counties, as the area continues its rebuild following the devastating 2020 flood that impacted numerous families and business owners.

Hoadley on Wednesday proposed an amendment to a budget plan for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) that would have granted a $50 million appropriation to the Four Lakes Task Force dam restoration.

In May of 2020, the region experienced one of the worst ecological events in the history of the state. Due to massive inflow from heavy rains, the eastern side of the Edenville Dam located on the Tittabawassee River collapsed. The rapid release of water from Wixom, Smallwood and Secord lakes, located north of the Edenville Dam, resulted in catastrophic flooding that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and impacted thousands of structures. The following day, the nearby Sanford Dam also failed. Smallwood and Secord lakes are located within Hoadley’s Michigan House district.

“The incompetence of other entities led to a special assessment being levied against impacted homeowners to help fix this mess,” Hoadley said. “They have been tasked with paying to repair damages they were not at fault for. With the lakes gone, property values in these impacted communities have dropped dramatically, and people are worried about what the future would bring for the region without this infrastructure being sufficiently restored.”

Hoadley said the Michigan Four Lakes Task Force has emerged as a critical response to the challenges posed by the dam failures. The task force was formed to address the long-term management and safety concerns surrounding the four interconnected lakes.

“I am disappointed this amendment was not incorporated into what was advanced,” Hoadley said. “The price tag of reconstruction now sits at over $400 million. Infrastructure is supposedly a pillar of this Legislature’s priorities, as well as the governor’s. It’s time to walk the walk on that as it pertains to these dam repairs.”

Hoadley was not recognized to speak to his amendment on the House floor and was baffled at why he was not allowed to address the needs of his constituents in Gladwin County.

“I have received hundreds of communications from constituents across the district who have expressed to me their frustrations with the special assessment levied against them,” Hoadley said. “While I cannot remove their assessment costs, I can work to provide state dollars to aid in the restoration of the dams. It is shameful House Democrats chose to ignore the plight of Michiganders and ignore me and my amendment.”

The measure is the latest in Hoadley’s efforts to protect homeowners and seniors during the restoration efforts. Earlier this year, he introduced a plan with state Rep. Bill G. Schuette, of Midland, to re-establish Michigan’s Special Assessment District Tax Deferral program for individuals 65 years or older with incomes of $29,619 or less. The legislation sought to reduce the financial burden for seniors across the region who would struggle to pay for special assessments being used for dam restoration.

The (EGLE) budget plan is contained within House Bill 5499.

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