Fishtown County commissioners in the state of Michigan, US, are providing US$500,000 towards repairing a dam they don’t own.

The dam, on the Leland river in Fishtown, was built in the mid 1800s to provide water power for a sawmill located nearby. When the dam failed in 1908, it was replaced by a new dam owned by Leland Light and Power. It then was sold to the Michigan Public Service Company and, in 1950, ownership was transferred to Consumers Power Company. In the 1960s, Consumers sold the dam to a private owner who later offered it to the county.

The county has been responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of the dam for the past 24 years. It will now undertake the required repairs, which include filling in voids and sealing holes in the spillway apron, sealing leaks at the base of one of the piers and removing deteriorating concrete, reconstructing the concrete surface and adding a concrete overlay.