Urgent Message from the President – Voice Your Opinion on the Leland Dam Repairs

Dear Fellow Members of the Lake Leelanau Lake Association,

We need your help and support.

The Members of the Board of the Leland Dam Authority are meeting at 3:45 PM on Friday, November 1 to discuss much needed repairs to the dam between Leland River and Lake Michigan. The meeting will be held at the Government Center in Suttons Bay in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room.

The Association’s board supports the repairs to the dam. We feel strongly, however, that no more than 50% of the estimated cost should be borne by homeowners owning property on Lake Leelanau (riparians) and that the balance should be borne by the County, which owns the dam and is legally responsible for its maintenance. We have written the board members of the Dam Authority notifying  them that this is the Association’s official position.

Twice in the past, when the dam has needed repairs, the costs have been split 50/50 between the riparians and the County. Although there is clearly precedent for this approach, some current members of the Dam Authority Board would like riparians to pay a greater share of the cost or to foot the entire bill.

Since all members of Leelanau Country who use the lake and enjoy it benefit from a well-maintained dam, it is only fair to share the cost of its maintenance with all taxpayers in Leelanau County.

If possible, we ask that you attend the meeting in person and make the following points:

  • Lake Leelanau is not like the other lakes in the county.
  • Lake Leelanau is different primarily because the County owns the dam and the Leelanau County Government has a court ordered obligation to operate and maintain it.
  • The lake runs the length of the county and environmental and usage benefits accrue to everyone in the county.
  • Two previous  assessments to maintain the dam have been split 50-50 between the riparians and the County.
  • There is no reason to change the assessment formula now.

Please note that you need to speak out at the meeting when members of the public are asked to comment. You need to speak even if someone else says the same thing. Print this page, and take it with you to the meeting.

If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please write the Members of the Board of the Leland Dam Authority and make the above points in a letter. The Authority’s address is Leland Dam Authority, 8527 E. Government Center Drive, Suite 101, Suttons Bay, MI 49682.


Tom Hiatt


Lake Leelanau Lake Association

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