Higgins Lake United Group File Recall Petitions Against Gerrish, Lyon Township Officials on GLUA Board

The Gerrish Lyon Utility Authority (GLUA), who has been working to bring a sewer and septic system to Higgins Lake, is now under fire from a group of Higgins Lake home owners, who are opposing the proposed sewer project.

Pic0Higgins Lake United is a group of home owners concerned about the Higgins Lake water quality and the effects the sewer system will have on the community.

“The property owners should have a vote, they should have a say,” said Kara Hobson, supporter of Higgins Lake United. “There are so many people here that are not being heard, there are a lot of non residents, people who come in for weekends, especially during the summer or maybe a week or two here in the summer, that don’t live here full time. We want to step up on their behalf and speak out for those people.”

The group has several concerns for the project, with one being the cost of the project.

“We don’t know the individual cost to each property owner,” said Hobson. “Obviously we don’t know what grants are going to be coming through either, but one of the biggest concerns for this area also is we have a lot of people on fixed income.”

Another one of their biggest concerns is the GLUA is using Public Act 188 of 1954.

The act creates a Special Assessment District. Properties within the district can petition for or against the project.

Higgins Lake United says the GLUA has not acknowledged the petitions they’ve sent in.

“If I own two acres and you own one acre, my opposing petition carries double the weight of yours,” said Hobson. “But I’m going to be paying the exact same amount for my sewer system as you are.”

Lyon Township Clerk Doug Schnell, who is also on the GLUA board, says they have seen the petitions.

“Every petition that was turned in to me was marked, whether it was a favor or object, has been documented,” Schnell said.

Higgins Lake United filed recall petitions on Gerrish and Lyon Township officials involved with the GLUA.

“It was something we had been hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but we definitely feel it’s the right step,” Hobson said.

Schnell says the the recall is based on the sewer project’s approval.

The recall petition reads in part:

“Clarity/Factual Hearing on April 14, 2022 for petition wording. Voted on 4/21/21 in favor of a sewer project estimated at $130,000,000 without seeking prior support from majority of the township constituents in the proposed sewer assessment district”

Schnell said the project approval hasn’t happened yet.

“Never at the April board meeting in 2021 did Lyon Township Board approve $130 million sewer project, and that’s what the language says in the recall,” said Schnell.

The GLUA says as of right now, there is no set amount homeowners have to pay for the project and no set Special Assessment District.

Everything is still up for debate, and Higgins Lake United says they’ll keep up their opposition.

“We’re going to continue be working with property owners to secure objecting petitions if that’s how they want to weigh in, and to secure signatures on the recall petition,” said Hobson.