The Four Lakes Task Force (FLTF) and Boyce Hydro reached a settlement in connection with the condemnation litigation around four dams owned by Boyce Hydro. In accordance with the settlement agreement, the counties on behalf of the Four Lakes Special Assessment District, will obtain ownership of the Boyce Hydro properties, which are the Edenville, Sanford, Secord and Smallwood dams in Michigan.
The Edenville and Sanford dams failed in May 2020, and transfer of the dams to FLTF was eminent at the time the failure occurred. Boyce Hydro filed for bankruptcy August 2020, and reports said the company owned more than $7 million in liabilities to its 20 largest creditors.
A consent will be filed and approved by the circuit courts in Midland and Gladwin counties.
FTLF has agreed to pay $1,576,000: $270,000 will go to Boyce Michigan, $152,000 will go to local suppliers that had liens on Boyce properties, and the remaining $1,154,000 will be up to the Bankruptcy Court to sort out between Byline Bank, lawyers and the bankruptcy trustee.
FLTF said, “The settlement is not about the value of the property, or fairness, but it is the best deal we could get to allow the community to extract itself from the legacy of Boyce’s ownership and move forward.” Regarding the class action lawsuits, three of the five lawsuits against FLTF have been dropped. FLTF, as part of the Boyce Bankruptcy proceeding, has also been included in an insurance settlement trust that would release FLTF from all future claims.
On Nov. 30, there is a bankruptcy court hearing on the settlement agreement. Assuming the court approves the settlement, the condemnation will proceed with the signed consent agreement between the parties and filed with the Circuit Courts.
FLTF has access for repairs now and expects to take control of the properties in December. Four Lakes has an operations team in place that has been working for several weeks to plan the transition. Boyce Hydro must remove all its personal property by the end of the year.