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Court Establishes Higgins Lake Special Assessment District

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

On Friday, September 15th, 34th Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Bennett of Roscommon County amended the lake level order for Higgins Lake, establishing special assessment district boundaries around the lake. 

The special assessment district is defined as properties around and near Higgins Lake that benefit from the lake level. This includes private parcels of land, subdivisions and state-owned land.

The Roscommon County Circuit Court last entered a lake level order in 1982. Since then, the lake level and lake level control structures have been maintained and operated under Part 307, Inland Lake Levels, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 Pa 451. This legal framework means the Roscommon County Board of Commissioners has the authority to pass a resolution stating that the cost to maintain a lake level structure can be defrayed by a special assessment against property owners who benefit from the body of water. 

Judge Bennett had an opportunity to hear testimony from the project’s lead engineer and gave the public an opportunity to provide their comments and concerns before the ruling. Prior to the hearing, property owners were given an opportunity to fill out a survey that was submitted to the court.

The ruling only determined the properties that are in the special assessment district. This ruling doesn’t determine how much assessments will be or the apportionments which the county board of commissioners must approve and present at a future public hearing.

Read the full Houghton Lake Resorter article here.

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