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Mecosta County property owners 'outraged' over possible tax increase


Residents around Pickerel Lake in Mecosta County are upset over a possible tax increase on their property. At issue is an uncertain upgrade and required inspections of a lake level control dam. The county wants to impose a special assessment district for property owners around the lake but Grant Township Supervisor Randy Vetter says they don't like it.


The residents are outraged. There's no estimate on cost for engineering or construction of an upgrade, they're not interested. The simple structure that is there has worked fine since 1974.”


Vetter brought the issue to the attention of the Mecosta County Board of Commissioners at Thursday's regular meeting. He adds that a petition drive has been started to abolish the assessment district or the dam since the DNR has in their own flood control gate upstream from the lake.


However, the dam is used to enforce a court ordered one foot differential in the lake level from April to November of each year and Mecosta County Drain Commissioner Jackie Fitzgerald says the dam requires periodic inspections.


All dams, all county lake level control structures – and we have seven of them – have to have an inspection by a registered engineer every three years. The Pickerel Lake dam is the last lake level control structure that doesn't have a special assessment district around it to pay for maintenance and repair and inspections of it.”


She also believes the dam is unsafe because it consists of a series of wooden planks that have to be manually lifted in and out by people who wade out into the lake.


A thought of mine is to have a crank system from the top because it's dangerous – you have to have waders, you have to get in there and pry the boards up and knock them down in some way.”


Any improvement project for the dam has not yet reached the planning stage because that would require an engineering study for the dam and a nearby roadway.


That would be a project with the road commission and I don't have anything right now. So it stays as it is, but costs do incur for the inspection,” says Fitzgerald.


Ironically, Fitzgerald says the dam was originally requested by property owners around the lake.


The structure itself is a court ordered lake level [dam] petitioned by property owners back in the early '70s to be created.”


In 2012, the County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution granting the Drain Commission the right to petition for special assessment districts to help pay for dam upgrades and maintenance. Fitzgerald is currently working on a way to fairly assess the property owners, However, she says, a big problem is the Department of Natural Resources which owns much of the lake property.




Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Basketball (Boys)


White Cloud 48 @ Big Rapids 53 (OT)

  -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Lakeview 46 @ Tri County 54

C Montcalm 55 @ Kent City 52 (OT) 

Chip Hills 48 @ Newaygo 58

Grant 41 @ Reed City 60


Reed City 32 @ Cadillac 54

Morley Stanwood 68 @ Tri County 63

Shepherd 56 @ Chip Hills 39

Lakeview 58 @ St Louis 50


CSAA Tournament

  Big Rapids 48 @ Reed City 46 (CSAA Tourn Champ)

      -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

      -> Big Rapids Wins CSAA Tournament

  Chip Hills 30 @ Kent City 56 (CSAA Tourn)

  C Montcalm 40 @ Newaygo 82 (CSAA Tourn)

  Lakeview 41 @ Morley Stanwood 52 (CSAA Tourn)

2/22/24 - 7:00pm

Montague @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Tri County (CSAA Tourn)

2/23/24 - 7:00pm

C Montcalm @ Midland Calvary Bap

CSAA Basketball (Girls)

2/19/24 - 7:00pm

Hart 45 @ Morley Stanwood 40

Newaygo 38 @ Oakridge 46

2/20/24 - 7:00pm

Chip Hills 33 @ Beal City 67

Big Rapids 39 @ Cadillac 41

Whitehall 44 @ Grant 71

Hesperia 18 @ Tri County 71

Lakeview 55 @ Pine River 41

Reed City 36 @ McBain 40

2/21/24 - 7:00pm

Shelby 41 @ Newaygo 48

2/23/24 - 7:30pm

Tri County @ Big Rapids (7:00p)

Reed City @ C Montcalm

Morley Stanwood @ Grant

Lakeview @ Kent City

Newaygo @ Chip Hills


Big Rapids Ice Hockey (12-12-1)

MHSAA Regional 21: 2/24/24

Big Rapids#4 @ E Grand Rapids#1 (7:15pm)

GR CC#3 @ GR Christian#2 (4:15pm)

CSAA Basketball Standings

CSAA - Boys

  1. Reed City 18-3 (10-0)
  2. White Cloud 16-5 (8-2)
  3. Big Rapids   15-6 (8-2)
  4. Grant   13-6 (8-2)
  5. Newaygo 13-8 (6-4)
  6. Central Montcalm 8-12 (4-6)
  7. Kent City 7-14 (4-6)
  8. Tri County 6-15 (3-7)
  9. Chip Hills 5-16 (3-7)
  10. Morley Stanwood 2-17 (1-9)
  11. Lakeview 5-16 (0-10)

CSAA - Girls

  1. Morley Stanwood 15-3 (8-1)
  2. Grant 13-4 (8-1)
  3. Kent City 15-4 (7-2)
  4. Reed City 11-8 (7-2)
  5. Big Rapids 10-8 (6-3)
  6. Lakeview 10-9 (4-5)
  7. Central Montcalm 8-11 (4-5)
  8. Newaygo 10-9 (3-6)
  9. White Cloud 7-13 (2-8)
  10. Tri County 3-14 (1-8)
  11. Chip Hills 1-18 (0-9)

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