Plans for Canal Dredging Dig At Patience, Pockets in New Baltimore Sub
Residents along the canal in New Baltimore want to use their boats, but murky shallow waters are keeping them at bay.
Canal living in New Baltimore seems idyllic for many boat owners, but shallow, sediment-filled waters have made life no beach for one neighborhood.
Unable to sail into the waters along their property, multiple Schmid Haven Subdivision residents are hoping to have a special assessment created for a dredging project on the middle canal. However, questions regarding costs, tainted soil and time tables are still being worked out between the property owners and city.
Homeowner Greg Thompson says the special assessment endeavor has been ongoing for about 32 months and he and other homeowners just hope another boating season doesn't drift by without the dredging complete.
"At the end of the day, they want want it dredged and the council has total authority to say who pays what and how much," he said.
At issue also is whether the city or subdivision should pay for hauling off tainted soil to a landfill and what that will ultimately cost. Out of 12 metals tested from water samples in the canal, 10 exceeded allowable state levels and four exceeded contact levels, he told New Baltimore City Council Monday night.
He noted homeowners in the sub already pay a significant amount in city taxes due to their waterfront land. And, they wonder why they'd get stuck footing the bill for ridding the canal of chemicals like phosphorus that flows downriver from the city's waste-water treatment plant, he said.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires the contaminated soil be placed in a landfill, he said.
Councilman Ken Butler during the meeting, "the soil has comeback semi-contaminated; it's not totally contaminated."
He encouraged the homeowners and city representatives to meet to hash out estimated expenses.
"Somewhere in there is a plan that makes sense for the community and also protects the residents on the canal," Butler said while acknowledging the project is needed. "It has to be done or we're going to have mud fights down there."
The matter was tabled until the next council meeting in two weeks.