City addresses EGLE request at Depot Park

By Matt Mackinder
Clarkston News Editor

CLARKSTON — The city was recently the subject of an anonymous complaint against Depot Park.
In the complaint, Clarkston City Manager Jonathan Smith said at the Oct. 23 city council meeting that debris in the park may be having a negative impact on nearby wetlands.
The complaint was made to the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) about debris stored at the south end of the park.
A representative from EGLE has requested the city remove brush, logs, woodchips, pavers, and other materials.
“We have staged fallen trees and other materials there in the past and then once a year, we usually rent a wood chipper and take care of those materials,” said Smith. “It has been a couple years since we have done that and the storms this year added more than the usual amount of material to the area.”
The complaint says the debris affects the wetlands on both sides of the park and impedes drainage and water flow on the site.
The city has started the process of hiring an outside company to clean up the site at an estimated cost of $5,000. Smith added that no deadlines or fines will be issued to the city as long as progress on the park is being made.
“We have been doing it this way since long before I got here and it has to come to an end,” Smith said. “We have to find another solution.”
Smith said the city’s public works department, comprised of Jimi Turner and Carson Danis, has not been able to complete the work.
“I assured (EGLE) that we would address this very quickly and try to do what we can,” said Smith. “It might take us six months to a year to get it all cleaned up. It is not a toxic dump or anything like that. I want to be very clear about that.
“There is nothing unnatural back there or any chemicals of any kind back there.”

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