Contrary to uninformed opinion and popular belief, the situation at Sanford Lake in late summer 2010 was an emergency. This is a well-established fact. By definition, emergencies are not planned, not anticipated, and not funded. (See 2010-09-16 Sanford draw down article.) The PMF alteration at Edenville is not an emergency. Boyce Hydro Power has been attempting to educate legislators (both state and federal) and members of the public about it since at least 2009. In 2011, a presentation was given to the Wixom Lake Association by Co-Member Manager Lee Mueller and the Company’s consulting engineer, Stephen C. Doret, who flew in from Massachusetts for the event. A version of the PowerPoint presentation included in this blog (PMF spillway alterations) was given to the Association to distribute as it saw fit. The final PMF solution, therefore the costs for the FERC-mandated project, were unknown at that time, but it was certain that the revenue from operations would be insufficient to pay for it or finance it.
The public is generally unaware of how much money and physical effort is expended to maintain the aging dam that provides them with a lake for recreation and property values. No financial contributions from lakefront property owners have been made in the past 88 years to support the existence of Wixom Lake. The dam owner simply does the work and pays for it for two main reasons: 1) it is in the company’s own best interest; and 2) FERC requires it. Meanwhile the repair and maintenance work that goes on daily at the dams is more or less taken for granted by the community. At Sanford, a select few members of the community did voluntarily contribute to the dam repair in order to ensure that FERC would allow the reservoir level to return to normal for the 2011 summer season. These funds were offered voluntarily. They were NOT extorted. In fact, Sanford Lake residents still should contribute to help offset these costs and get involved in the future of Sanford Lake by visiting the Sanford Lake Preservation Association here: http://x.sanfordlakepa.org/.