Michigan City Isn’t Liable for Declining Property Values

September 16, 2014

A judge has ruled that Traverse City isn’t responsible for declines in property values that could be linked to officials’ decision to remove a northern Michigan dam.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers on Thursday effectively dismissed parts of a lawsuit filed by several Boardman River property owners after an October 2012 breach of the Brown Bridge Dam.

The property owners argued Traverse City should be liable for damaging floods and erosion after the dam’s removal. Rodgers disagreed.

Attorney Kristyn Houle, who represents several property owners in the lawsuit, says she “respectfully and strongly disagreed” with Rodgers’ decision. She says even without the breach, property owners still suffered from the decision to remove the dam.

The city-owned dam was built for hydropower generation in 1921.

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