In 2014, tree removal along the Little Thornapple River Drain was approved, however, many claim there was excessive removal beyond the original contract that caused severe damage to part of the 13.9 mile drain district.
After months of property owners complaining, attorney’s opinions and negotiations with the Department of Environmental Quality, property owners in the drain district in Barry and Ionia counties were assessed differing amounts on their property tax bills to pay for costs related to reconstruction of the affected segments.
Residents in Carlton Township in Barry County are included in the assessments.
Now, a letter to the Intercounty Drain Board from the Carlton Township Board, referring to the restoration work, said the township is “submitting a claim against your insurance carrier for past and future charges being mandated to Carlton Township for additional work done outside the original contract.”
The letter, discussed by the drainage board at a Wednesday meeting, said the claim was being made “because of oversite, mismanagement, and not following contract obligations that occurred on their behalf,” and that legal fees would be added if necessary.
Attorney Stacy Hissong, who represents the drainage board, will send Carlton Township a letter telling them the board does not have an insurance company.
All three counties in the drain district, Barry, Ionia and Kent, received similar letters, according to drain board members. Barry County Administrator Michael Brown has forwarded his to the county’s insurance carrier, Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. As of July 12, he had not received a reply from MMRMA.
The counties will give their individual responses, Hissong said, “and, we’ll see what happens next.”