Mid-Michigan is no stranger to flooding. Significant rains and floods occurred in 1986, 1996, 2013, 2017 and 2020. These floods have negatively impacted individuals, jobs, economic growth, property values and tax revenues in the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR).
We’re also used to rising above the challenges and building back together. But this time, it’s our plan to look for lasting changes.
This can be our watershed moment.
In 2021, the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Board of Directors formed a task force to examine any infrastructure issue that impacts the quality of life and economic vitality of the Midland area. As its first task, the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure is charged with finding the best ways to work with local, state and federal partners to address longstanding flood issues that impact the citizens, business community and economic development in the GLBR. Two initial primary areas of focus are the legacy flooding challenges and the related sanitary sewer issues.
May 21, 2022
Bridgette Gransden, Administrator/Controller for the County of Midland, and Brad Kaye, Midland City Manager, offer a look at where we are two years after the flood.
Solutions won’t come overnight. In fact, mitigation efforts are likely to take years. But the first steps involve an engineering study in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the development of potential infrastructure projects, and the evaluation of each project’s benefits and feasibility. Our key tasks and initiatives include:
Engineering services — The first step is to learn “what we don’t know” and gain valuable insight from experts. Engineers and scientists will help with data accumulation, a review of past flood and hydrological studies, technical assistance, and development of sound concepts for potential flood mitigation and infrastructure improvements.
Community involvement — Our goal is to create broad and wide community engagement and participation from individuals, community groups and leaders, neighborhoods, businesses and various organizations. This will include townhall meetings, community workshops and regular communication.
Conservation — We want to collaborate with conservation and environmental organizations for floodlands to find beneficial solutions.
Advocacy and partnerships — We want to engage with federal, state and local leaders, agencies and offices. This includes working closely with the City of Midland and Midland County officials, with surrounding counties, and with agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and the Four Lakes Task Force. We will also advocate for support from our state and federal representatives and senators.
Finance — We are committed to advocating for government support and other innovative financing of future projects.
Many local foundations and businesses have already donated to support the committee’s research, flood study and initial planning efforts. No local tax dollars are being used for the study, thanks to their support. These donors include:
Charles J. Strosacker Foundation
Dow Company Foundation
Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation
Midland Area Community Foundation
Patricia and David Kepler Foundation
Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation
Three Rivers Corporation