Senate bill #778 became Public Act (PA) 56 in March of 2012. This public act addresses road end usage and makes it illegal to install boat hoists or anchorage devices at a public road end. It also makes it illegal to moor or dock a boat between 12 midnight and sunrise at a public road end. It prohibits any activity at a road end that obstructs ingress or egress from a lake or stream on all inland lakes in Michigan. It does allow the installation of a seasonal public dock or wharf at the road end when it is authorized by the local unit of government. For Higgins Lake the local units of government are Gerrish Township and Lyon Township.
Gerrish Township requires that a permit be applied for through the Gerrish Township Police Department. The Police Department will review and issue the permits along with enforcing the township policy. The permit holder must also obtain $1 million in liability insurance and present proof of this insurance to the township.
Lyon Township does not currently require a permit for installing a seasonal dock at a public road end. The Township does require that when such a dock is placed at a road end, it be located along an extension of the center line of the road end. The Township does not require proof of insurance but states that the responsibility of liability rests with the owner of such a dock and not with the Township. The Township also requires that the person responsible for the dock provide their contact information to the Township.
When a seasonal dock is placed at a road end in either Township, it is understood that all members of the public have equal right of access and use of the dock.