Village council to hold public hearing Feb. 13 on North Shore drainage concerns

By Megan Kelley
Review Writer
LAKE ORION — Lake Orion’s village council is expected to hold a public hearing regarding an ongoing drainage issue on North Shore Drive.
During the meeting on Jan. 9, the village engineer requested that the council consider authorizing the engineers to prepare permitting and construction drawings and specifications for the public improvement needed to correct the drainage problem.
According to documents provided by the village, the current projected total cost for the improvement is $56,890.78 and includes engineering, permitting and contingencies as well as the engineering costs already incurred to prepare the topographic survey, conceptual plan and cost estimate.
The question on the table, however, is how the village plans to pay for the improvements.
Village Manager Darwin McClary’s recommendation to the council was to treat it as a special assessment project.
“The reason for my recommendation is because these improvements would be of a local benefit to certain properties on North Shore Drive. They would not be improvements that would benefit the community, generally, and therefore the cost of this improvement should be borne by the property owners who would benefit specifically from the project,” McClary said.
Councilmember Michael Lamb, who lives on North Shore and has been vocal about the drainage problems at previous meetings, raised issue with having the financial burden fall on those who own property on North Shore.
“I’ve been there for 20 years, what caused the problem…every single person in the village, on a 40-foot lot on the lake completely paves their frontage (and) hardens it 100 percent impervious, so as each new house is built and renovated they fully pave their lots and all the drainage is directed to the street and runs down the street to an inadequate drainage ditch,” Lamb said.
Lamb told the council that he had spent $30,000 approximately 20 years ago to repave his street and install curbs and gutters.
When this work was being done, Lamb says he and the company he hired found that there was not an adequate drainage facility even then, which caused him to revise his plan and create a better drainage system that he says “worked just fine until about 10 years ago.”
Because of this, Lamb requested that the village dip into their minor street repair funds to fix the issue.
“The village caused this problem by allowing all these properties to dump their storm water into an inadequate receiver,” Lamb said.
Some back and forth occurred between Councilmember Nancy Moshier and Lamb with village attorney Mary Kucharek of Beier Howlett regarding whether or not it was a conflict of interest for Lamb and Moshier to vote on any measure regarding the improvements because they live on the street.
The council unanimously decided to move forward with the public hearing, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 at Village Hall, 21 E. Church St.

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