By David Fleet
Goodrich — At 6 p.m., Jan. 19, the village council will host a workshop to discuss applications for the 2023 Dam Risk Reduction Grant Program.
“We have a time constraint that needs to have the grant in by Jan. 31,” said Sheri Wilkerson, village administrator. “We have several grants (for the dam) that are offered depending on what the council wants to do.”
Currently there is $13 million in funds in the Michigan Dam Risk program to provide grants to dam owners for repair, alteration, or removal activities necessary to address risk associated with publicly or privately owned dams, like Goodrich. The goal of the meeting is a pre-proposal to select applicants for the 2023 grant cycle. A 10 percent match is required. Wade Trim will work to investigate the requirements and possibilities.
While the dam remains safe for now, deterioration issues due to age have been a point of concern for many years.
In December 2016 Lucas Trumble, dam safety engineer of the MDEQ dam safety unit, completed the inspection. The dam was inspected and passed in May 2020.
“The Goodrich Dam is fairly typical for its age,” said Trumble, during an interview in 2017. “The significant hazard rating has nothing to do with condition; rather, it’s based on the downstream impact if the dam were to fail. The rating is not related to the likelihood of failure. There’s a bus garage and a few houses downstream on the Kearsley Creek that could be impacted. However, it’s not a large-scale disaster.”
The dam’s fair condition assessment means it is not expected to fail under normal flow conditions, added Trumble.
“The repairs made in 2013 and 2014 eliminated the immediate dangers on the dam,” he said. “But there still needs to be planning and long-term budgeting over a specific time frame. We know the dam is old and we encourage the council to be working with a consultant. The need to be proactive is paramount with the dam. Like many dams statewide the purpose of the dam has shifted from producing electricity to creating a pond or recreation. Therefore, we need a feasibility study done for years down the road.”
By David Fleet