Four Lakes Task Force Looking to Acquire Boyce Hydro Dams Through Eminent Domain

Four Lakes Task Force, the organization trying to purchase the four dams owned by Boyce Hydroelectric, is looking at an alternative option to acquire them.

On Thursday, July 16, the task force board of directors voted to begin the eminent domain process. Eminent domain is when a government entity claims the right to take private property for public use. Four Lakes Task Force, formed in 2018, is authorized to create a special assessment district to eventually own and operate the dams.

Officials with the task force say the property’s value at this time is zero, which Boyce contests. The group had originally offered Boyce nearly $10 million before the catastrophic May flood which saw the failures of the dams in Edenville and Sanford. Now they estimate it will cost around $300 million to repair those dams and clean up and restore the areas where Wixom and Sanford Lakes had been.

A second group, the Secord Lake Preservation Association, is attempting to buy the Secord Lake dam from Boyce Hydro for $30,000. The Four Lakes Task Force opposes the move.