The state has ordered a controversial, unauthorized drawbridge on Lobdell Lake in Argentine Township be removed.
The Tri-County Times reports that owner Brett DeGayner installed the drawbridge on July 8th from his residence to Turtle Island but did not obtain the necessary permits to do so. The drawbridge is approximately 10 feet wide and the span connects Whitehead Drive to Turtle Island. DeGayner owns property on Turtle Island that he rents out, as well as the connecting property on Whitehead Drive. Some neighbors and local officials were none too happy with the project. Argentine Township officials are said to have delivered a stop work order to DeGayner but he reportedly had it installed anyway.
The Water Resource Division’s Enforcement Unit of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy or ELGE sent a letter to DeGayner ordering him to remove the bridge by this Sunday or face legal action. The letter says the bridge is in violation of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which prohibits the installation of bridges and structures that disrupt wetlands without a permit. The state is ordering DeGayner to remove the unauthorized bridge from Lobdell Lake and do so in a manner that minimizes any additional impacts to the waterway such as siltation, pollution and bottomland or wetland disturbance. He must dispose of all removed materials to a non-regulated upland area and contact the Office immediately upon completion of the restoration requirements so an inspection can be conducted.
Meanwhile, neighbors have started a Gofundme page titled “Remove the Drawbridge on Lobdell Lake” to help offset any current and future expenses in fighting against the structure. The page was started by a lakefront resident of Whitehead Drive who says many neighbors have been adversely affected by the structure. It says residents of Lobdell Lake have concerns about the safety and maintenance of the bridge, the lack of permits, violation of wetlands, property values to those directly affected and water flow issues – adding it’s a long list that continues to grow. A link to the page is provided. Facebook photo. (JM)