Bullock Road

HOWE DRAIN HISTORY
From: Jon Kingsepp

The 2011 “permanent closure” of Bullock Road north of Mitchell Road highlighted the existence of a reported problem extending over a period of thirty plus years.

In the spring of 1910 an application was made to the Lapeer County Drain Commissioner (LCDC) to clear, straighten and extend a certain existing drain known as the “Howe Drain”. That original drain had been installed in the late 1800’s. The corrective action was to improve the existing drain that had run along Bullock road. The 1910 extension carried the existing drain south from Mitchell Road to the Farmers Creek juncture.

When Farmers creek was damned to create Lake Lapeer, the Howe Drain extension was flooded over at its southern end. In 1972 Galway Bay Subdivision was created without indicating any easement for the drain. In the construction of a residence on Lot 4 of that Subdivision the drain extension was dug up and the undamaged portion extended and rerouted around the house. [1. Report to LCDC April 15, 1994.] Since that time, the low areas north of Mitchell Road do not disburse the excess water through the drain. In fact, it is now difficult to locate the drain extension installed in or around 1972.

In May of 2011, the LCDC contacted certain homeowners in the Galway Bay Subdivision seeking their cooperation to “reestablish a new drain tile from a structure near Mitchell Road to Lake Lapeer following as much as possible the old route of the Howe Drain Tile”. The natural opening for the excess flow would be into Galway Bay.

The records of the LCDC indicate that since 1976 several discussions have occurred between the representatives of Elba Township and the office of the LCDC [2. There is some indication that representatives of the Lapeer County Road Commission may have been involved, however, the apparent responsibility appears to be on the LCDC for the necessary fix.] to address potential solutions to the continual flooding of the road and the ponds abutting Bullock Road north of Mitchell. However, the public records also indicate no action was taken on the recommendations of the professional engineers.

The following questions (see Questions and Concerns) have been forwarded to the office of the LCDC for a response. Those questions followed the discussion of this subject following the annual
meeting of the Association. The Association representatives have suggested that when the responses are provided that a meeting be held between certain public officials and Association representatives to discuss potential solutions. The Association board believes that at this time it is best to collect all the available information so informed discussions can be had. Further the Association board believes that it is in the interest of all Association members there be transparency in the discussion of this important issue which may affect many landowners. To that end, if additional information or questions arise from the periodic reports to Association members, you are best served if you address those comments to the board members.