The HLPOA begins an ongoing collaboration with the MI DNR Parks and Recreation Division to preserve, protect and enhance Higgins Lake and its surrounding watershed. The following presentation was prepared for our series of meetings with key Parks & Rec Div. personnel commencing in August, 2017:
Public Act 56 — Public Road End Usage
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.
Swimmer’s Itch (SI) presentation on the status of the 3-year SI Reduction Effort, presented by Dr. Curt Blankespoor of Swimmer’s Itch Solutions LLC at this year’s HLPOA Annual Meeting, is posted below. Of particular interest are slides 20, 21 and 22 that compare 2015 to 2016 to mid-July of 2017. On each of these three slides is a chart showing the snail infestation percentage — anything over 2% of the snails being infected with the SI parasite represents an epidemic level of SI infestation. In 2015, the average of all snails tested showed the highest lake-wide infection percentage Dr.’s Harvey and Curt Blankespoor had ever seen in their collective 50+ years of SI research — 3.9%. This is reflected in the amount of red and orange depicted in 2015’s chart. After working that year and the next two years removing Common Merganser (COME) hens and broods from the lake and sealing nesting sites, notice the complete lack of any red or orange on the 2017 chart. The 2017 infection rate is down to only 0.14%. What a dramatic improvement! A long term maintenance program is now being planned to keep Higgins Lake at this low infection rate for years to come.
Marvin Bolton Requests Motion to Create Financial Review Committee:
Dear HLPOA Members,
Marvin Bolton recently advised the HLPOA Board of Directors he intended to present a motion at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Members whereby he is requesting a Financial Review Committee be created, made up of non-Board members, to serve as an oversight committee to the Board’s financial matters. Below is the Board response denying his request and a legal opinion on his request from HLPOA Counsel, Bill Carey, both of which have been sent to Mr. Bolton.