Hatlem Pond dredging draws crowd
About 70 people showed up for a meeting to discuss the proposed dredging of Hatlem Pond, which drains into Glen Lake.
“We sent out about 85 cards announcing the meeting and had about 65-70 people show up,” said Glen Lake Association biologist Rob Karner, who led discussion at the meeting Aug. 15 at the Glen Lake Community Reformed Church. “It was a very good response. The overall feeling was cordial at the meeting. People are really interested in helping.”
The Glen Lake Association (GLA) proposes to administer dredging of the pond which is south of big Glen Lake. The pond has never been dredged and silt has accumulated on the north end due to drainage from Hatlem Creek during heavy rains. Because the pond drains into the south end of Glen Lake, the water quality of the lake there is affected.
Cost of dredging, estimated at about $120,000 for the work plus another $20,000 for administrative costs, would be covered initially by GLA. A special assessment district would be established of riparian owners in Empire Township to reimburse the association.
Two public hearings must be held on the proposed project in order for the special assessment district to be used.
The next move in the process is for Empire Township to schedule the public hearings.
“The first would be on the ‘worthiness’ of the project. The second would be on a fair way to pay for it,” Karner said.
It has not been determined whether the assessment would be based on linear foot of property or by parcel, he said.
Between 60 and 65 property owners would be impacted. However, Karner said there are a number of GLA members interested in organizing fundraisers to help offset maintenance costs.
The length of time between future dredgings has yet to be determined as there is no collected data on how quickly silt accumulates at the site.
“What’s there is what has accumulated over 50 years at the bottom of that pond,” Karner said.