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Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake has a normal lake level established under Part 307 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. On December 8, 2022, 34th Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Bennett of Roscommon County amended the lake level order for Houghton Lake, establishing special assessment district boundaries around the lake. 




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1,138.1 FEET*

*Above sea level 

Houghton Lake Dam - square.png
Houghton Lake Dam-up close.JPG

The Lake Level Control Structure

The lake level control structure (LLCS) is located on a tributary that emerges from North Bay Houghton Lake.

It was constructed in 1938 to replace a logging-era wooden structure. The LLCS is built with concrete abutments, wing walls and concrete piers to form six bays which water flows through. Water flow is regulated through the bays using a combination of stop logs and wooden vertical slide gates. 

Operation of the LLCS is entirely manual. Vertical wooden slide gates are hoisted out of the water by hand and secured in an open position by chaining the gates to the structure's handrail.

The Process


Establish the Special Assessment District Boundaries

Completed December 8, 2022

Consider Amendments to Houghton Lake Legal Lake Level



Resolution to investigate rescinded April 26, 2023


Permitting, Special Assessment Hearing, Bidding & Construction

Where we are now

Permitting, Special Assessment Hearing, Bidding & Construction

  1. Engineers complete engineering design and environmental reviews.

  2. Engineers apply for permits.

  3. The county takes construction bids for the project.

  4. The county publishes a computation of project costs.

  5. Project team establishes a special assessment methodology to determine property owner costs.

  6. An assessment roll describes the parcels of land to be assessed and the dollar amount of the assessment against each parcel.

  7. The delegated authority schedules a public hearing on the project cost and special assessment roll and notifies all property owners in advance.

  8. Roscommon County Board of Commissioners approves the cost and the special assessment roll by resolution.

  9. Finalize project financing.

  10. Property owners have 15 days to appeal the assessment.

  11. Assessment will be added to winter taxes for the term of the bond.

  12. Issue notice to proceed with construction.

  13. Begin lake level control structure repairs.

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