Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 6, 2012

Boardman info meeting set for Thursday


TRAVERSE CITY — Boardman River dam project managers will hold a public information meeting Thursday to provide an update on last month's breach and flooding at Brown Bridge Dam.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Civic Center.

"We hope people will come out and we know the community has lots of questions," spokesman Chuck Lombardo said. "We're committed to giving the answers as they become available."

The meeting comes a month after the Oct. 6 breach at Brown Bridge Dam that occurred as workers prepared to use a temporary dewatering structure to slowly drain the remaining 20 feet of water in the 191-acre dam pond.

Instead, the pond all but drained in six hours, raising the river about five feet at the highest flood stage.

Lombardo said biological and environmental samplings were taken to determine the effect on cold water species by fish biologists at two spots below the dam where samples had been taken before the breach. Results are still inconclusive because the river water is still too "turbid."

Project managers expect questions on insurance compensation from the 53 property owners who witnessed flood damage, Lombardo said.

Several members of the Boardman River Implementation Team will be presenters, including: Frank Dituri, chairman; Sandra Sroonian, senior principal AMEC engineer for the Brown Bridge dam removal; Todd Kalish, state Department of Natural Resources and the former IT chairman; Jim Pawloski, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; and Steve Largent, Boardman River program coordinator for the Grand Traverse Conservation District.