A photo of Stryker’s Lakeside Marina taken from a drone shortly after the Edenville dam breach in May. 

GLADWIN/MIDLAND COUNTIES – The Midland Business Alliance and the Three Rivers Corporation have partnered to begin an ambitious reconstruction project throughout Gladwin County as well as Sanford. The project will focus on increasing the rate at which flood damaged homes and businesses are restored. 

Tony Stamas, President and CEO of the Midland Business Alliance and Jon Lynch, President and CEO of Three Rivers Corporation announced their rebuild investment on Saturday, August 29. In the announcement, it was stated that the construction costs would be covered by grants provided by the Dow Company Foundation, Corteva Agriscience, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation. The project’s current total investment is roughly $1 million.

“The Midland Business Alliance is delighted to work with Three Rivers Corporation, generous funders, and local leaders on this innovative approach to help rebuild communities stricken by the flood,” said Stamas. “The process of recovering from this type of disaster is both long and complex. We are making this investment to hasten rebuilding where feasible while also providing the residents of Sanford and Gladwin with a vision for how their respective communities will emerge and be even stronger.”

According to aspects included in the announcement, two businesses in Sanford and one in Gladwin will receive up to $200,000 each. The businesses in Sanford include Sanford Hardware and Red Oak Lounge. The business in Gladwin will be Stryker’s Lakeside Marina. 

There have also been three homes selected that will each receive up to $100,000 in order to rebuild by December 2020.

Stamas and Lynch acknowledged that “it is the hope of all involved that the residential and commercial construction project rebuilds will be completed sometime in mid-December so the community can come together and celebrate the accomplishments during the holiday season.”

Two homes in Sanford and one in Beaverton that were significantly damaged in the flood have been selected. The residence in Beaverton is home to grandparents that are raising their granddaughter who live on the Tobacco River side of Wixom Lake. The selection of the recipients was at the sole discretion of the fund administrator and were provided by recommendations from community leaders in Sanford and Gladwin. 

The rebuilding funds will only cover the costs of structural work for all of the selected recipients. These provided grants will not cover things such as appliances, inventory, erosion control, payroll or any other similar costs. 

“Three Rivers is pleased to participate in this fresh approach to jump start the rebuilding of our community,” Lynch said. “We anticipate that work will begin in the Sanford area very soon, likely in a few days. Work will commence in the Gladwin area very quickly as well.” 

Chris Moultrup, Business Development Director for the Three Rivers Corporation had his feet on the ground in each of the chosen sites to evaluate the work that needed to be done. He believes that the project will go very swiftly and that it will also serve as a platform for future funding.

At Stryker’s Marina, Moultrup mentioned that the business has already done a lot of work on their showroom and the teams under Three Rivers are planning to focus on the maintenance shop. However, the plans for the reconstruction are still in process and given the limited amount of funding, the corporation must determine the areas where the funds will be most effective. 

According to Moultrup, Stryker’s has had to adapt its business model without the lake presence. Even so, he believes that they remain confident on the lake’s return and look forward to returning to their more normalized business model. He believes the overall idea behind the project is what will majorly stand out. 

“Delivering the message of hope to the community is very important,” Moultrup said. “Three Rivers is honored to play this role and to help get Sanford and Beaverton back and greater than before.” 

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