Dear Oakland Township Residents,
If you read a "Re-Elect Joan Fogler" giant post card that came in your mailbox (8/04/12), you probably noted that there was a statement on her flyer about the Paint Creek dam. Mrs. Fogler states, "The Mill Race dam was going to be removed by the State of Michigan, DNR at our expense, but we were proactive with the Clinton River Watershed Council and negotiated to get a grant to pay the total cost rather than lose in court, pay for the dam removal ourselves and pay court and attorney costs." It was Mrs. Fogler that asked the private owner of the dam to donate it to the township! Why would she do that? So it could cause the township all these supposed legal problems? Removing the dam destroyed the Paint Creek Mill Race, it belonged to the community. It was Joan Fogler that said at the September 27, 2011 OTBS meeting that the State of Michigan would remove the dam if Oakland Township did not agree with the Clinton River Watershed Council plan to destroy it. Robin Buxar, a resident, asked the DNR if the dam had been rated. Jim Francis representing the DNR, responded that since the dam was under 6 feet in height it was not on a federal rating list. Clerk Judy Workings questioned Mr. Francis if the dam was slated to come down by the state, he said that it was desired that it come down for the FISH, and "NO" it was not slated to come down. Later through a FOIA (freedom of information act) request from the Department of Environmental Quality, it was found that the dam had indeed been evaluated by Mr. Francis, and the rating he gave the dam was "good", which was a rating for the state. I passed out a copy of the Jim Francis evaluation at a later board meeting to the trustees.
For proof, read the following minutes and articles about the meetings, you will find that the DNR expert never said the state would destroy the Paint Creek dam. By inferring that the state does sometimes remove dams, someone might jump to that conclusion, but in the case of the Paint Creek dam, it was not slated to be removed. But still Joan Fogler, Sharon Creps, Marc Edwards and Kathy Thomas voted to destroy the dam, instead of forcing a compromise with some other community-minded option, such as a fish rock ramp against the dam. Anne Vaara of the Clinton River Watershed Council, said this was not about the mill race (community), it was only about the dam.
Read the minutes from the meeting, September 27, 2011: Go to www.oaklandtownship.org click on "Departments"; click on "Board of Trustee"; scroll down to 2011, Sept. 27; click on "Minutes". Some of these articles mention this incident also.
Please pass this message to others,
Jan Olson, Oakland Township resident
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