Sunday, January 30, 2011

SeeClickFix for Shiatown Dam removal

SeeClickFix for Shiatown Dam removal  --

Antiquated dam providing NO flood control and is dangerous for kids to climb on.
Removal eliminates danger, creates more park acreage, and returns the river to its natural free flow.

Owner - Michigan Land Bank
Jeff Huntington
Senior Property Analyst

Saturday, January 29, 2011

State took ownership of Shiatown Dam in 1999

In 1999 the private owner of the dam defaulted on taxes and the Shiatown Dam
reverted to state ownership -- perhaps also because of the death in 1998
of a 7th grader at the site ?


Video of Shiatown Dam at Flood Stage

 It would appear this bit of video footage was shot in fall of 2008 - check out USGS data below video

Video of Shiatown Dam at flood stage


Friday, January 28, 2011

Shiatown Dam Resevoir shrinkage once dam is removed

On February, 13, 2001, the Shiawassee River near Shiatown Dam rose to 7 feet 8 inches. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch, and at 9
p.m. the river was 2.5 inches from the top of the dam.

Feb. 2001 reports in Owosso showed the Shiawassee River at Owosso exceeded flood stage of 7 feet at 2 pm on the 9th. The river crested at 8.2 feet at 10 pm on the 10th. After briefly falling below flood stage, the river saw a secondary flood crest of 7.3 feet at 1 am on the 14th.

Anything clogging the spillways will reduce the dam’s capability to handle a flood event and put the structure out of compliance with safety standards. The current logjam demands attention from the owner because it is out of compliance in 2011.

The area surrounding the dam is sparsely populated. Currently the reservoir pond behind the dam covers less than 50 acres, a massive reduction from the 1960's when it once covered 120 acres. Shrinkage of the reservoir pond once the Shiatown Dam is removed is insignificant to the community.

The Michigan Land Bank owns the dam. Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation Commission operates the 35 acres around the dam as Shiatown Park, East and West.
The dam is dangerous for children to climb upon or gain access to. Removal of the dam would enhance the surrounding by eliminating a manmade hazard.

Click on the illustration below for a larger view of the park :

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shiatown Reservoir Sedimentation testing

Sedimentation Testing - Historical Lab Data -

The Shiawassee Town Reservoir is 42 Miles downstream from the Superfund site in Howell, Michigan.

Research regarding sedimentation at the dam site revealed this report from 2009 :

Contaminant Migration statement in the 2009 report
"""Based on the comparison of data from 1988 and 1999, the PCBs appeared to be dispersing downstream from the CFC facility, without accumulating in any particular location. Sampling in the Shiawassee town Reservoir and Shaw Lake downstream of the CFC facility, which would act as sediment traps for material moving downstream, primarily showed nondetectable levels of PCBs.""""

A study from May 2006 by Mark A. Coscarelli with the Partnership for the Saginaw Bay Watershed
--identified the dams at Chesaning, Owosso, Corunna, and Shiatown on the Shiawassee River as candidates for removal

-Sharon Hanshue - Michigan DNR Legal - questioned the Future of the Shiatown Dam as well back in 2008
The Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Michigan Sea Grant had the Shiatown Dam listed for study in its strategic plan.
"The dam requires considerable repairs to stabilize it over the long term and the DNR
is only able to support emergency maintenance for the structure"


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shiatown Dam Inspection Report 2010

Shiatown Dam Inspection report 2010

Saginaw Bay Watershed blocked by dams

Fish Passage

The Saginaw Bay watershed is fragmented by nearly 300 dams or spillways . Improving fish passage at existing dams, either by ladders or by dam removal is the single surest means with which to increase natural reproduction. River spawning walleyes are already abundant in the bay, and are the only proven source of natural recruitment.  Establishment of fish passage and/or removal of unnecessary dams, while no small undertaking, can pay great dividends in terms of enhancing walleye recruitment. Enhancement of fish passage will also benefit lake sturgeon, white bass, and a variety of other warm water species. 

Figure 1. Saginaw Bay watershed. Dots indicate the location of a dam or spillway obstacle.

Dam removal is the preferred option for maximizing the benefits of natural reproduction. Dam removal eliminates the problem of safe and effective downstream transport of walleye fry which may otherwise be retained above dams or killed in hydroelectric turbines. Removal of dams also facilitates recovery of high gradient river reaches which are often necessary for successful natural reproduction.

Saginaw Bay's fishery is already valued at well over $18,000,000 in the 1990's 
and accounts for 58% of the total sport fishing effort on the Michigan waters of Lake Huron.

Excerpt taken from :
Strategy and Options for Completing the Recovery of Walleye in Saginaw Bay
David G. Fielder
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Fisheries Division
Lake Huron Basin Team
August 2002

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Brochure

A look at the Shiawassee River Heritage Trail Brochure available soon to the general public

Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - Brochure Inside | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


How the Shiatown Dam got it's name

Back in 1836, Charles Bacon filed survey documents from the area (aka a plat file) to start a company involved with the buying and selling of land.

On July 12, 1837, Lemuel Brown, postmaster, opened the Post Office as Shiawassee. 1837 is also the time when Michigan became a state.

On May 26, 1857, the Post Office was renamed Shiawassee Town

The city was planned as a possible State Capital with 90 city blocks, two town squares and a park. 

Today it is a sparsely populated community with approximately 3,000 people for all of Shiawassee Township

Records indicate a dam was first built on the Shiatown site in 1840

In 1904 the original Shiatown Dam was replaced, and the Shiawassee Light and Power Company built
a structure for hydroelectric power generation and operated the facility until 1911.

In 1911 the Shiawassee Light and Power Company sold the hydroelectric dam to Consumers Power Company.

In 1955 Consumers transferred ownership to Shiawassee and Vernon Townships.

In 1964 Vernon Township transferred their share to Shiawassee Township.

During the 1960's, Shiawassee County operated the dam and impoundment as a recreational facility

In the early 1970's,  the formal ownership of the site was taken by Shiawassee County

In 1986 , Shiawassee County sold the dam to the Grand River Power Company.

Between 1986 - 1999, a  total of four different start-up power companies attempted ownership

In 1999 the private owner of the dam defaulted on taxes and the Shiatown Dam reverted to state ownership

The State of Michigan , in one form or another, call it what you will, HAS OWNED the Shiatown Dam since 1999

In 2011, The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority had issued a report to the DNR regarding status

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Rick Snyder split DNRE

For 2011 it is now two separate groups - the DNR and the DEQ  

EO-01-2011_342039_7.pdf (application/pdf Object)


Monday, January 03, 2011

Michigan's bizzare DAM ownership fiasco

Michigan has numerous DAMS in ownership limbo from judicial juggling of responsibility.
Let's cut the bullshit.
The government is US, the citizens of the Michigan. Waterways belong to everyone, downstream/upstream, all.
Attempting to burden some little itty bitty community of a 1,000 people with $$$$ millions in removal or repair costs is just a complete waste of everyones resources.

The State of Michigan should own all the dams, repair and maintain them along with demolition of  aging deteriorating dams that pose safety hazards.
Dams were used by our ancestors in an era long gone. It is time to evolve into the 21st century.

Corunna, Michigan is playing a game of who,what,where,when concerning ownership of a dam on the Shiawassee River.
Guess what - it belong to all of us in Michigan already.
Your tax dollars are paying the "experts" from the DNR and the Army Corps of Engineers to consult anyways.
Little local governments don't have super duper technical hydro engineers, physicists, structural engineers, etc.

Putting a dam in the hands of the Michigan Land Bank Authority is even more foolish.
It's not something anyone can sell, let along give away to a charity, or make any profit on.
They are bankers, CPA's and office personnel - it's not like they put on a drysuit and inspect the dams......

Water flows, it moves, it seeps, creeps, drips, and gurgles it's way along, never really staying in any one place for long.
It is a resource that belongs to all citizens of Michigan - and the government also belongs to us .
Citizens need to get actively involved with the resources they own .

Last time I checked, no one is getting their grain milled from any mill pond. It is 2011 - move forward !