Globe Mill Pond takes on a different look as water is drained for dam repair

By DEB WUETHRICHMany residents have noticed the unusual sight at Globe Mill Pond and Standish Pond as water levels have dropped over the past week.The city’s Utilities Department crews began making repairs to the Globe Mill Pond dam this week.“Where the gate closes, what they’re actually doing is replacing the structure behind the gate,” said Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch on Tuesday, Oct. 4. “There’s something called the “skin,” and it’s starting to rust through. That’s what we’re replacing.” Welch said the work is planned maintenance on the dam, and has been on the city’s radar for a couple of years.“We had to get a permit from the state,” he said. “Also, we purposely decided to do it in the fall when the water level was already down some.” He said if it had been done when the temperatures were high, the mud would create a smell. “Doing it this time of year helped alleviate that problem,” he said.The work should be completed within a few days, Welch said. He’s not sure how long it will take for the water to come back into the ponds, however.“We do know that the level will go up quicker than it went down, because the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) requires us to manage the reduction so that the wildlife can find a source of water,” he said.Another dam in the community, which the city does not own, is slated for a visual inspection soon by the Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Division. According to Welch, the city was notified that the DNRE will send staff to Tecumseh in the next week or so to take a look at Tecumseh dam; the structure is part of the former Red Mill Pond development.Deterioration of some of the concrete connected to that dam can be seen from the shore. Questions have arisen regarding who actually is responsible for the property, since it passed from ownership by Tecumseh Products to Red Mill Pond LLC developers several years ago. The property has since gone into foreclosure, with Huntington Bank holding the mortgage. The Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Division has been looking into the matter in terms of inspections that are typically done, and required by law, during specified periods on dams throughout the state. “We’re working with the owner to get the dam inspected as required by law,” confirmed Byron Lane, hydrology supervisor at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Land and Water Division. He said a visual inspection would likely take place some time this month, but a date has not yet been set.Lane said that the MDNRE has been in touch with attorneys for Red Mill Pond LLC.“From what we’re hearing from their attorney, the company no longer has any assets. We’re going to continue to work with them until we can assure that that’s not the case and that they cannot comply with the law. If they have no assets it could be difficult to have them get the dam inspected and do other things as required by law.”Lane said the MDNRE would continue to pursue the inspection process, but that it could be time consuming.“In the meantime, given that it’s a dam, and that there are occupied dwellings downstream, we want to look at it ourselves just to insure that there are no issues that would endanger the dam,” Lane said, adding that his department has gone through the normal notification process regarding the required dam inspections. He said after the inspection, they will at least know if there are any issues that need to be taken care of.“We don’t believe there are, as the last inspection report did not indicate anything, and we have been in contact with the person maintaining the dam over the years,” said Lane. Tecumseh resident Wally Pike has been taking care of the dam since he worked for Tecumseh Products, who formerly owned the property. He said Pike hasn’t reported any issues.“But we want to see it for ourselves and make sure and feel comfortable there are no safety issues with the dam,” he said. “This was an interim measure we thought was prudent to insure that the dam is safe or at least that there’s not any unsafe condition existing there.”

Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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