Lake Improvement Legislation
Livingston County, MichiganDrain CommissionerLake Improvement Legislation

Lake Improvement Legislation

Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act
Act 451 of 1994 - PART 309
Inland Lake Improvements Updated as of 1/8/01

Below is a summary for Part 309 of Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended which directly affects lakefront and lake access property owners in what they can do for their lake by way of improvements including nuisance aquatic plant control, dredging and removing of undesirable materials from the lake, and authorizing raising money by taxation and special assessments.
Part 309 provides for the establishment of a lake board that is charged with the responsibility of carrying out desired improvements.
On Public inland lakes, lake boards may be established by the governing body of a local unit of government (city, village, township) upon its own motion or by petition of 2/3 of the freeholders owning lands abutting the lake. Such action can be taken by the governing body of any local unit in which all or any part of the lake is located.
On private inland lakes, a lake board can be established by petition only.
Upon receipt of a petition, or on its own motion, the governing body of a local unit shall within 60 days establish a lake board. The lake board will consist of the following:
  • A member of the board of commissioners appointed by the chairperson of the board of commissioners of each county affected by the lake improvement project.
  • A representative of each local unit of government appointed by the legislative body of the local unit.
  • The county drain commissioner, or a member of the county road commission in counties not having a drain commissioner.
  • A representative of the Department of Environmental Quality.
  • A property owner, appointed by the board, who owns land abutting the lake.
Lake boards established under part 309 must do the following:
  • Retain a registered professional engineer to prepare an engineering feasibility report, an economic study report, and an estimate of project costs. The report must include a proposed special assessment district and recommendation for the appointment for benefits. The assessment district may include all parcels of land and local units benefited by the improvement project.
  • Publish notice and hold a public hearing to review the feasibility report, the proposed special assessment district, the apportionment of benefits and to determine the practicability of the project.
  • Once a project is determined to be practical and approved by the lake board, and the special assessment district and an appointment of benefits are determined, the lake board may then proceed to finalize the plans for the approved lake improvement project and prepare an assessment roll.
  • Before confirming the assessment roll, the lake board must hold a hearing to review and hear any objections to the assessment roll. Notice of the hearing must be both published and mailed.
  • After the hearing, the lake board may confirm the assessment roll and proceed with carrying out the approved lake improvement project.
Lake boards have 3 methods available to finance lake improvement projects in anticipation of the collection of special assessments:
  • Borrow money from local lending institutions
  • Issue lake level orders, which are promissory notes issued to the contractor that promises payment upon collection of funds from the special assessment district.

  • Bonding.