Dam operations

Dear Editor,
The most recent article about the Mill Ponds and dam was very interesting and presents more questions (“Pond residents appeal to community for help,” Aug. 21).
For example, the article indicates that Messrs. Ed Adler and Robert Roth own the dam. I was advised there are no records of dam openings and closures, and I was unable to ascertain any operating criteria.
The “best guess” approach described for controlling water levels is concerning to me. I question the impact on environmental quality.
I am not the only area resident frustrated by what has seemed to be arbitrary pond water levels, albeit this condition seems to have abated in recent weeks. There should be fixed criteria and protocol for managing water levels affecting so many in the community, as well as the Clinton River.
If the “antiquated” and “difficult to operate” dam is owned by Adler and Roth and not subject to a governmental cost-sharing and management agreement, government should ensure the private owners upgrade and maintain their dam equipment to maintain safety, environmental and esthetic standards affecting other property owners and the community at large.
If Adler and Roth have no financial or management responsibility/liability for the dam the article references them as owning, the community should know—and prospective buyers or takers might be easier to find. Of course, as no one probably is interested in buying or taking the dam without the more valuable adjacent real estate, who would take on such an expense and liability?
Perhaps more specific information about owner rights and responsibilities, and any management and operational expenses for which government will pay would make the property more attractive to a buyer.
I think pond/dam committees can be helpful, but more definitive information at the onset from legal experts on rights, responsibilities and liabilities would facilitate more efficient, fair and effective committee results. Can we please start there?
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township
The Upper Millpond Committee’s first meeting is on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Clarkston United Methodist Church, 6600 Waldon Road.