One local township is looking to get out in front of drainage problems before they get worse or something catastrophic happens.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, Northfield Township officials authorized the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner to exceed state-allowed spending on a specific drain. By state code, the Drain Commissioner’s office can spend $5,000 per mile, rounding up for maintenance and repair of drains. The Horseshoe Lake Outlet Drain is the largest in the township and covers nearly 2.5 miles.

Northfield Township resident George Brown spoke to the Board during the public comment period and delivered a letter from Horseshoe Lake Homeowners Association President, Scott Chism. The letter spoke of resident support and a request for the Board to approve the resolution. Brown said he moved into his home in 2011 and it wasn’t long after that it began to flood on a yearly basis. Northfield Township Supervisor Marlene Chockley said that was the biggest goal- to relieve the springtime flooding.

The Washtenaw County Drain Commission isn’t budgeted money for maintenance and repair. As a result, charges for the work that gets done appear as fees on winter tax bills. Work on the Horseshoe Lake Drain is expected to cost $33,500. The township approved their share of $10,050 at the meeting. The Horseshoe Lake Outlet Drain fix is but the first step in a 5 year plan to the drain to keep it working at a healthy rate. The Drain Commission was only asking for first year approval, offering to come back each of the following years to discuss their and the township’s visions. It won’t come due until winter of next year, giving the Board time to make room for it in their 2019-2020 fiscal year budget. (MK)