October 26, 2014

Drain backs up in Lincoln Township

By Tim Barnum
Staff Writer
Posted
LINCOLN TWP — Albert Greniuk owns farm fields and gardens on Lincoln Road property that has been in his family for over 70 years. But over the past few years, a county drain running through his property has been backing up and blowing holes in the ground.

“I hit one (hole) with a tractor and almost tipped over,” Greniuk said. “It creates holes and it stays wet. … It (water) bubbles up over the ground.”

“Every time it rains it backs his field tile up,” said Arenac County Drain Commissioner Don Prueter. “He’s got a gripe.”

Prueter says the drain running through Greniuk’s property could be either the Sonsmith Drain or Lincoln D Drain, both of which were installed back in the 1930’s. He says the backup probably began years back when I-75 and M-13 were built over the drains, which flow west, perpendicular to the highways.

To make matters worse, Greniuk says other properties in the area were developed over the years and more water from surrounding farmlands started to run into the clogged drain.

“There’s probably 300 acres going into that tile and it’s only a 10-inch (tile),” he said.

The Drain Commissioner also said the problem likely isn’t isolated to Greniuk’s land.

“I think it goes a lot bigger than just his farm,” Prueter said. “I think we’re going to uncover a lot of problems that we haven’t given a second thought.”

That’s why Prueter, along with the Lincoln Township Board are on the case, trying to remedy the problem with the drain.

Before the drain is fixed, though, Prueter says a survey has to be done to decipher which drain – the Lincoln D or Sonsmith – is backing up.

“That’s the question we have to answer first,” he said, adding he has drawn up a resolution that would pay the Spicer Group, Saginaw, $16,000 to survey the drains and form a maintenance plan to repair whichever drain is backing up.

Read more about the Lincoln Township drain issue in the Oct. 1 issue of "The Arenac County Independent."

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