Drain Commissioner

Gogebic County Drain Commissioner
Dan Wood
(906) 285-7525

Mission Statement

The Gogebic County Drain Commissioner's office is dedicated to providing good drainage for agriculture, homes, and businesses; to protecting riparian rights, natural resources, and water quality; and to managing our waterways for multiple uses, including recreation, fishing, swimming, boating, scenic value, and wildlife habitat.

About the Office

The Gogebic County Drain Commissioner is an elected office with a four year term. The Drain Commissioner is elected county-wide in a partisan election at the same time as the U.S. Presidential election.

The Drain Commissioner's Office is independent of the County Board of Commissioners, other than for its administrative budget and the supplying of office facilities and equipment.

The Drain Commissioner's Office carries many responsibilities not only to the County but the State of Michigan. The Drain Commissioner's Office is bound by state statutes in effect for over one hundred years.

The Drain Commissioner provides for oversight on public drainage over the department's area of jurisdiction and sometimes jointly with adjacent counties when warranted. The office is responsible for the maintenance of these drainage areas after being established. The Drain Commissioner is responsible for the legal establishment, and administration of drainage districts, legally set lake levels, court-ordered lake levels where dams and impoundments are involved. The office is responsible for setting up assessments, for initiating, maintaining, and spreading legal costs over an assessment area for the benefit of property owners involved in the above-mentioned issues.

All drainage work completed through the Drain Commissioner’s Office is by petition of the property owners or municipalities. Beneficiaries are property owners, cities, villages, townships and the county-at-large. Projects are financed through special assessments. The Drain Commissioner is responsible for spreading the special assessments, maintaining accounting of expenditures and assessment collections. Property owners are assessed for direct benefit. Cities, villages and townships are assessed for health benefits and the county-at-large is assessed for the benefit to county roads.

Enabling Legislation

The Drain Commissioner's office functions under the authority of State legislation. The role of the Drain Commissioner is described in the following acts:

Michigan Drain Code (Act 40, P.A. of 1956 as amended)

Land Division Act (Act 288 of 1967, as last amended by Act 87 of 1997)

Condominium Act (Act 59 of 1978)

Mobile Home Commission Act (Act 96 of 1987)

 Inland Lake Level Act (Act 146, P.A. of 1961

The Drain Commissioner is a member by statute of All Lake Improvement Boards

TheDrain Commissioner reviews external and internal drainage of preliminary and final plats for subdivisions/residential developments as governed by the Michigan Subdivision Control Act.  All plats require the signature of final approval as to stormwater management from the Drain Commissioner.

What is a County Drain?

What is a Drain Right-of-Way?

What is not a County Drain?

How does a Drain project begin?

How are Drain projects funded?

Drain Project Steps