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Glad lawmakers are listening on shoreline; now act

Rogers City Mayor Scott McClennan recently made the trek down to Lansing to speak before a legislative subcommittee about the damage high Lake Huron water levels have wrought on Northeast Michigan’s shoreline.

The high waters have damaged Rogers City’s breakwall, Smitka Park, a portion of the city’s bike path, and the shoreline in general, McLennan told the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, according to a recent story by News staff writer Crystal Nelson.

Rogers City has already spent about $4,000 trying to save the park from sliding into Lake Huron, the mayor told the subcommittee.

State Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, who represents Northeast Michigan and chairs the subcommittee, said lawmakers learned a lot and she hopes the hearing at which McLennan testified “opened the door for more discussion.”

We’re glad lawmakers took the time to listen to the communities directly affected by the record-high Great Lakes waters. And we, too, hope the hearing leads to more discussion.

But we also hope those discussions lead to action.

The high water in the summer and fall already have caused thousands of dollars in damage along the Lake Huron shoreline in Northeast Michigan. And, though the mild winter thus far has eased some concern, officials are expecting worse in the spring because those high waters froze against the shoreline, the ice expanding. Officials are worried what they’ll find when that ice thaws.

With plenty of other bills to pay in the spring, including road maintenance, local governments are likely going to need state aid to repair all of the infrastructure against the Great Lakes.

We hope the state hears local governments’ call for assistance.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)