Higgins Lake Property Owners Taking Roscommon Co. to Court for Lake Level Issues

Some property owners on Higgins Lake are working to get the lake to its legal water level.

In fact they’ve formed a group called Citizens for Higgins Lake Legal Levels and are taking legal action against Roscommon County.

Higgins Lake is the tenth largest lake in Michigan and is in Roscommon County.

The group says the county has not done what they can to keep the water level up in the summer.

“They’ve met the winter level, they have consistently failed to meet the summer level,” said Phil Ellison, the attorney representing the Citizens for Higgins Lake Legal Level.

He says Roscommon County is not keeping enough water in the lake during the spring, keeping the water below the legal level in the summer.

“They control lake levels by basically it’s a small dam where the water flows out to the Cut River and it just holds the water back a little bit and it just keeps the level even and consistent, or at least it’s supposed to, year round,” explained Ellison.

But Ellison says the county has not taken the proper steps to maintain the level established in 1982.

“People spend a lot of money on this lake and when the levels are low we have problems with the boats hitting the rocks,” said Eric Ostergren, the president of the Citizens for Higgins Lake Legal Levels

Ellison says last year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, data shows the lake levels were below what they should be 90% of the time.

“What we think is the appropriate thing to do would be is to get the county into court to explain why they’re not complying and if they’re not complying intentionally, the judge has the ability to fine or jail county officials until this is complied with,” said Ellison.

A court hearing has not yet been set.

“I’m really disappointed in the commissioners’ actions. They’ve ignore the pleas of the people and decided for whatever reason, we don’t know, to ignore the law,” said Ostergren,

Nine and Ten News reached out to the county, but they said they cannot comment at this time.