Man blames township for flooding

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OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Matt Farage lives on Tek-e-nink Lake in Oakfield Township. He believes the water table is rising and affecting the integrity of his property. And he blames the township.

Farage said his home has experienced flooding and is shifting. He believes dredging has taken place in a nearby channel that’s caused the water to backup the lake.

He’s pointing the finger at the township and a developer who lives nearby, down Lincoln Lake Avenue.

FOX 17 stopped by the township office and spoke with Township Supervisor Greg Dean. He didn’t want to go on camera but showed a map of Oakfield Township and each body of water. He said the water from Tek-e-nink flows away from Farage’s home into another stream and into Wabasis Lake.

Dean said the developer hasn't done any dredging and has pulled the proper permits to build on the land. Farage lives in an area that's like a wetland and Farage doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he said.

FOX 17 also talked to the developer. The Stearns are an elderly couple who own close to 200 acres of land. Mrs. Stearns said Farage has caused a stir previously but she said she doesn’t know why he has an issue with them or their development, which is sitting idle.

Stearns said she and her husband have pulled the proper permits to build, and they haven’t done anything to the water.

Without a hydrologist or someone to survey the land, it may be difficult to find out what's causing Farage's problem.

 

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4 comments

  • Betsy McIntyre

    Good luck getting anyone to “own up” to your problem. Towns & townships usually get a pass when they cause flooding. The town of Barryton, Michigan has flooded the people down stream from them 3 times in the last 15 years and are never held accountable for it. The last time was in the spring of 2014. Even the news people wouldn’t even do much coverage about it. They get away with it because no one that was flooded has the money to sue them. Besides the EPA, DEQ and all the others that have a say in what they can do to our rivers are untouchable.
    They even get away with dumping their “treated” sewage twice a year into the river. HAVE FUN CANOEING ON THE LITTLE CHIPPEWA RIVER THAT RUNS THROUGH MT.PLEASANT BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE IT ALL THEIR CRAP ENDS UP GOING TO!

    • Matt Farage

      Yes, when we bought this property in 2004, the land and area was dry and stable. Over the years, we’ve seen it get worse and I discovered the housing development just recently and an area that was being overgrown, has now lost vegetation, streams are being opened up, more water coming this way. Our lake is sustaining a lot high level now. There’s also a lot of root rotted trees around the area. First good 70 mph wind we have, you’ll hear of the Wabasis Lake area hit hard with fallen trees. The soil moisture content in the area is causing this. I will welcome a hydrologist out here even to kayak and check out the stream’s flow direction.

  • Matt Farage

    I am Matt Farage. The only stir I’ve ever caused before is complaining about others assuming and lying about me. Our property has been affected. Now I notice across the lake where a street has been changed to the owners name that was formerly a different name. Also Mud lake, a small lake that shows up in historical maps between our lake and Wabasis is not shown on this newer map. What’s up with that? This is what happens when people aren’t kept in touch with what’s going on around them. The township’s been accusing me of lot of things. Now the Township Supervisor is saying the homes never should have been built here in the first place. If the house was built in such an area that homes never should have been built there in the first place, as the township supervisor put it, then why have we battled the assessor here for 10 years who claims our home is worth about 100k more than it is? They lived on our lake for years even and were familiar with it. I couldn’t even get them to come out here when I asked. The stream the supervisor mentioned, is flowing from Wabasis and flowing South into our lake. I witnessed it rushing out and saw swans playing in the middle of winter. Discrepancies are starting to add up. Any hydrologists would be welcome to comment on this.

    • Matt Farage

      it is the Townships supervisor to watch over the assessor. We have to go to the Tax tribunal again this year. They are trying to say our home Is worth 272,000 and yet the supervisor who communicates excessively with the assessor, has never relayed to them the condition of our land, if they suspect natural damage is likely. Plus, the assessor had lived about 5 houses away from us for years. They are familiar with the area. I’m not afraid to go on camera, or speak about a piece of property that has been in our family since 1971 that has suddenly become damaged and there’s been recent developments upstream from us. My great uncle was the first president of the Michigan Conservation Club. He had been to this property before. He fought for conservation. To see firm land go bad is bad enough. But when you have a township that is conniving, and has a lack of regard for certain people? Then you create a victim, which is what happened to us and others on this side of the lake. The ground is saturated and trees will begin falling soon. It’s sad it had to end here, with a township that is trying to force us off our land, instead of wanting to help preserve it. This letter is for all of you that either do or don’t go to church, but still believe in being truthful, and standing up against others that want to deceive and keep secrets. I’m a confident enough person to go before a camera because I enjoy telling the truth. The news didn’t edit the story as I would have, and there was much more footage and words by myself, where it wouldnt have looked so one sided. They turned it into a story of me trying to bad mouth a developer. I explained to the news, I didn’t know it was them for certain, and emphasized to Darren, I blamed more the Township and the old DEQ director at the time. They never pointed that out. it wouldn’t be the developer so much, as the DEQ director who I spoke with at the time. Also the Township not notifying more people of this development, so I could have at least let it be known to the township that our land was fine now, but in the future should it before ruined, I’d have something to go back on. Now as I said, we’re stuck, and instead of the township wanting to help with taxes where they should be, with soil and our flooding trouble, they just want us gone.