Is local millpond dam safe?

Just a few short months ago, the damage caused by the failed dams in the Midland area continues to have residents in mid-Michigan in cleanup mode.
What would happen if the dam in Clarkston’s mill pond ruptured? How could that be prevented?
“We have done work in Clarkston, across the road from the dam in Depot Park, including installing a rain garden and bank restoration along the millrace,” said Clinton River Watershed Council Executive Director Anne Brasie. “Clarkston is a part of our WaterTown program, which led to some of these projects. A lot of the installation was done in partnership with Friends of Depot Park.
“We don’t really have anyone on staff in a position to talk about the condition of the dam, what may or may not happen, etcetera. Our ecologist, Eric Diesing, met with some residents and Cleyo Harris from DNR fisheries in the past regarding stocking the mill pond. The request was not pursued due to warm temps in the pond not being conducive to establishing a population.”
According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) website, the mill pond dam is owned by Lehman Investment Company and was last inspected by the state on August 11, 2003, with a “satisfactory” assessment.
An email sent to one of the dam’s owner, Bob Roth (Ed Adler is the other), had not been returned as of press time.
Anne Vaara, co-chair of the Oakland County Water Resources Commission, said she could not answer specific questions related to the mill pond dam and referred those questions to Clarkston City Manager Jonathan Smith, who had also not responded to The Clarkston News as of press time.

— Matt Mackinder

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