Red Cedar river drain plans presented to dozens

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s a project that was expected to get underway years ago but even today little progress has been made on the Red Cedar project.

What’s the end goal? To construct hotels, restaurants, town-homes and student housing at the site of the former city-owned Red Cedar golf course on Michigan Avenue.

So why is there a delay? Part of the reason is because of the pollution flowing into the river and for years-Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann has worked with his staff to implement a drainage system to clean the river.

But things have been far from smooth sailing…as the matter has even been taken to court.

But tonight, Lindemann led a public meeting where he presented a multi-million dollar drain project to cut down the river’s pollution.

Fresh, clean water is the goal Lindemann has had since the beginning of the Montgomery Drain project.

“Water is a great resource and we sit in the middle of a state that has surrounded by 20 percent of the available fresh water in the whole world and if we don’t take care of it, then where do you?” said Lindemann.

That’s where the Montgomery Drain project comes in. The project would re-build and build new systems that include pipes and underground treatment that would then eventually “clean” polluted run-off water from containing metals and nutrients that aren’t good for the river.

“Probably about 96% to 97% of all the pollution going into the river today will be gone,” Lindemann stated.

Polluted water has been an issue in the Red Cedar river for years…so why wait until now to clean up the problem?

“Pollution doesn’t happen overnight and nor does a cure for it…now we’re taking a look at the problem and we’re trying really hard to come up with a solution that’s cost effective that actually cleans the river,” Lindemann added.

As far as how much this project will cost, Lindemann says it’s not set in stone right now but assumes it could cost nearly $20 to 30 million.

Although the project is far from inexpensive, people in the community are looking forward to the revitalization of the Red Cedar river.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a good project and one that’s very well needed,” said Lansing Township Resident John Binkson.

“It’s great, this is really exciting to see the plans that are being set in place, certainly been thought through very carefully, it’s a big cost savings to the taxpayers too in an effort to drain all this pollution the right way,” Lansing Resident Paul Brogan stated.

It’s important to note Lindemann says these plans are not finished.

He says the drain project plans are approximately 60% done and he hopes come April, the plan will be completed so they can begin construction in October of this year.

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