State loses records : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Been a lot of these accidents since the 1st of the year.

State accidentally destroys 262 files on drain projects

Copies to be obtained; no delays are expected January 27, 2000


PORT HURON -- Hundreds of documents involving drain projects across 45 counties have accidentally been destroyed by the state, the Department of Agriculture reported recently.

About 262 files involving 189 intercounty drains were destroyed, the department reported in a Dec. 10 letter to county drain commissioners across the state.

"The impact of this loss of information will severely limit our ability to effectively administer our program responsibilities in conjunction with each of you," Michael Gregg of the Department of Agriculture said in the letter. "I want to express our sincere regret at having to approach you regarding this matter and assure you that it is a most unfortunate and disturbing event for this program."

Gregg has asked the drain commissioners to supply copies of their documents so the state can proceed with drain business.

The state plans to send a Department of Agriculture employee to the different counties to locate and copy the files if the drain commissioners do not have time to do so.

Jeff Friedle, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture, said the state Department of Management and Budget, which oversees record storage, did not make microfiche copies of the records before destroying them.

Department of Management and Budget spokeswoman Penny Griffin said a letter from the Agriculture Department explaining which records should be destroyed was missing a page that explained the records were supposed to be copied to microfiche.

Gregg said Wednesday that nothing critical was lost.

"There are no projects that will be delayed as a result of those documents being lost," he said.

In Lapeer County, Drain Commissioner John Cosens said he is missing several right-of-way releases for property along the Mill Creek drain from his files.

Cosens and a group of farmers and landowners near the border of St. Clair and Lapeer counties requested a dredging project they hoped would improve the creek flow in August 1989.

But St. Clair County Drain Commissioner Fred Fuller and a group of activists opposed the dredging, saying it would be too expensive. The groups compromised with a smaller project.

Fuller said if those releases are not found and landowners refuse to sign new ones, the drain board may have to sue to get new ones. If that happened, he said, it could slow or stop the project.

-- Martin Thompson (, January 27, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ