Grand Traverse County commissioners released a stream of funding to help cover costs associated with two future dam removals.
Commissioners unanimously approved a $500,000 Brownfield Local Site Fund grant to help cover “due care” activities related to the Boardman River Restoration project and the removal of the Boardman and Sabin dams, slated for 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“This is a perfect opportunity for us to make a significant environmental cleanup,” said Commissioner Addison Wheelock Jr. “It’s a great idea and I don’t know why we didn’t think about it 10 years ago when we started this discussion.”
The grant will be used to cover sediment assessment, sampling, water quality and other environmental work costs before and after dam removal, said Jean Derenzy, deputy director of the county’s brownfield redevelopment authority.
“It’s protecting and doing the due care to ensure any of the sediments that need to be addressed are addressed appropriately,” Derenzy said. “This was one of the reasons the brownfield authority was created, to look at the environmental impacts.”