Marion Millpond/Middle Branch River Restoration Project

Location: Osceola County

Project Status: Completed in 2010

Purpose: Remove the Marion Dam, retain the millpond by constructing a bermed dike between it and the River, and construct a covered bridge at the site of the dam.

MRWA Role: Facilitate

October 2001

The Village of Marion, in Osceola County, together with the MDNR Fisheries Division have agreed on a plan to restore both the Middle Branch River and the Marion Millpond including the removal of the Marion Dam.

December 2001

The MRWA convened potential funders and stakeholders on site, including federal, state, regional, county and local officials to review the project. As a result, village officials applied for federal funding through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) “Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program”. The project is presently in the first phase – Preliminary Restoration Plan (PRP) – of a potential four-phase project.

June, August, September 2002

The MRWA has met with Marion officials and MDNR representatives to discuss funding opportunities for this project.

Summer 2003

The USACE Phase I, Preliminary Restoration Plan (PRP) has been completed and is on an internal route. The Village of Marion has sent a letter of intent to continue to Phase II.

Due to lack of project funding, this project has been put on hold.

2009 – 2010

With assistance from the MDNR, the MRWA was awarded a $25,562 grant from the USFWS to help fund a preliminary engineering study. A temporary drawdown of the Marion Millpond took place to identify options for removing the dam and also provide recreational opportunities for the village. Although options were provided, the Village has decided not to proceed with the project at this time.