Sunday, March 29, 2009

Map Shiawassee River Paddle Event

Click on Map or Post Title for a full size picture of Shiawassee River
the river follows along near Grand Trunk Westen Railroad tracks
--the river dips slightly south near Wilson Lake
--the river enters into Fenton
Mill Pond (Genessee County) from the East
--the river exits the Fenton Mill Pond and flows North past Bush Park in Fenton

-WaterWorks Park -
602 South Broad St, Holly, MI 48442-1674

--Strom Park--
299 South East Street, Fenton , MI
near the East Street Bridge.

Link to maps of Shiawassee River between Holly and Fenton

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fenton Area Paddlers

It is kayaking time again.

We will have a meeting at

Legends Sports Café on Wednesday, April 8 at 7:00pm.

Legends is located on Thompson Rd and US23. Join us in the planning of our weekly evening group and weekend paddles. We usually paddle a local lake during the week and go further a field on weekends, alternating between Saturdays and Sundays. We also need volunteers to plan weekend get-aways. Additional adventures are prompted by individuals notifying other paddlers for impromptu paddles from time to time. Do not worry if you do not have a kayak. Many regular paddlers have extra kayaks that those new to the sport can borrow.

Please join http://groups. group/Fenton- area-paddlers/

to find out about upcoming paddles

You can also call Maggie Yerman

(810-735-9570) or email her yerantmag@yahoo. com for more information.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chesaning - Sewage overflow into Shiawassee

PUBLISHED: Sunday, March 22, 2009
Tri-County Citizen, a Lapeer Group Weekly Publication-

CHESANING - "Realistically to go through this whole town --it's NOT possible to get it done," Councilman Don Swartzmiller told the Chesaning Village Council during their March 17 meeting. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had responded to Swartzmiller and Rowe Engineer Lou Fleury's request for an extension; the village needed more time to complete the project.

Knowing the need to separate the storm sewer from the sanitary sewer to prevent sewage overflow in the Shiawassee River, village officials began working on separating properties throughout the village. When they started, they were working without any push from the DEQ. Now the DEQ demands that the separation be complete by December of 2010.

"It was our idea to separate; to open the sanitary sewer to more homes," Swartzmiller explained. "Homes in the older part of town...both sides still have drainage problems," Swartzmiller agonized.

"They've taken it over and put deadlines on it," he told board members.

Fleury shared Swartzmiller's frustrations. Fleury explained that the village had received the permit to do the project, but now the DEQ is holding it up. "At this point I don't think they'll budge on the 2010 date," Fleury commented.

Among the DEQ's requirements is to have the entire 15 miles of sanitary sewer inspected. Fleury quoted $1.50 per foot as the approximate cost to have the sewers inspected professionally.

The council discussed the sewer televising equipment, which had been purchased by the village. Swartzmiller explained that the televising equipment "works great for 4", 6" and 8", but not those 12" or larger." So village DPW employees should be able to perform some of the inspections, but not all. The council concluded the project would be costly.

Adding to sewer costs, Fleury said, "Right now, the budget to do Chapman Street is $2 million."

Council members expressed concern over the enormous cost. "In my experience with the DEQ, money is not an issue," Fleury sighed.

Swartzmiller said, "We are strapping the village bad. There's so much that goes along with the project." He talked about the challenges on Pearl Street, near the Michigan Festivals and Events office. "We're not sure where we're going to put the storm sewer."

"Green Acres was our project," Swartzmiller stated. He later pointed out "It was never intended to have a time line. We have to go into every home, and some you can tell right away where the connections are."

President Joe Sedlar told Swartzmiller, "I don't understand how they feel we can do this. It frustrates me. Saginaw can dump into the system and we can't even get hooked up to the system. How can they say it's going to overflow the [Chesaning Wastewater Treatment] Plant? They don't know where it's coming from."

Swartzmiller commented, "We've made improvements."

Sedlar responded, "They don't take that into account. If they say get it done, I don't know what we're going to do."

Sedlar addressed Fleury saying, "Hear anything about the stimulus?"

Fleury responded, "Everyday. It changes everyday. We're constantly getting new news." He added that he has heard that there is no money for local streets though.


According to Chesaning Village Administrator Marlene Schultz, there are 1,047 village properties with sewer connections that would have to be checked before the DEQ's December 2010 deadline.

The village has four maintenance workers. Each inspection takes three village workers (one to operate the camera) an average of one to five hours. One inspection took two days because the line had to be cleaned out first, Schultz explained.

If they were to achieve a fast pace of three inspections per day, running five days a week, every week without any holidays or glitches, that takes about 70 weeks (approximately one year four months). This time line assumes that every storm water sewer line has already been separated out from the sanitary sewer ... which isn't the case.

In addition to the immensity of the endeavor, the village would be without the services of those three employees for other general maintenance activities during the entire time. This means 75 percent of the maintenance staff wouldn't be available for snow removal, wastewater treatment plant maintenance, mowing in the village and at the airport, reading meters, and now the village has two parks (Showboat and Cole) that require a great deal of clean-up before spring and summer activities begin.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

2009 Shiawassee River -- Heritage Water Trail

The Shiawassee River Trail and Headwaters Trails, Inc

Headwaters Trails, Inc. is based in Oakland County, Michigan, and dedicated to the development of a trail network and accompanying recreational activities in the northwest headwaters region. Over the last three years, Sue Julian and Doug Lanyk have been leading a paddling effort to create a designated water trail in Oakland County, with assistance from the OakRivers Initiative . They have focused on the stretch of the Shiawassee River from the Village of Holly to the City of Fenton. Their successes include:

* Installation of canoe/kayak launch site at Holly Waterworks Park with funding from REI
* Development of a signage program, with funding from the Saginaw Watershed Initiative Network
* Holly to Fenton canoe races - this year 2009 is June 7th
* Regular river cleanups and paddle trips

Shiawassee River Signage
With grant support, Headwaters Trails, Inc has developed a signage program for the Shiawassee River. Current funding will support installation from Holly to Fenton; all communities along the Shiawassee are welcome to use the same signage designs. It is hoped that signage will be developed and installed along the Shiawassee River all the way to Saginaw Bay. Several types of signage have been proposed for the Shiawassee River:

Wayside Interpretive Exhibits – large signs and kiosks that help visitors learn about the Shiawassee River and natural history. Five of these are planned for Oakland County at various landing spots.
Safety Signs – single sided metal signs that alert paddlers of upcoming obstacles. Ten of these will be installed from Holly to Fenton
Mile Posts – mile markers will be placed between Holly and Fenton marking the 7 mile trip.
Emergency Access Posts – negotiated with landowners and the North Oakland Fire Authority, these posts are for emergency landings and ambulance services if needed.

Written by
Sara McDonnell
University of Michigan

Center for Applied Environmental Research
432 N. Saginaw St., Ste 1001
Flint, MI 48502-1950
810-767-7272 phone
810-767-7183 fax