• Events

    • 2021 Fall Drawdown

      Wednesday October 6, 2021
      4:00

      This Morning (Wednesday, October 6) The Cascade Township Posted an update to their website confirming the Fall 2021 is in progress.

      The fall dam drawdown will begin slowly on Monday, October 4. It will be drawn down to max October 8-10 and then begin coming back up.

      This is scheduled to be a 2 foot drawdown.

      The following email was sent by the CTRA to all known CTRA email address:

      The Fall Drawdown of the Thornapple River upstream of the Cascade Dam to roughly 68th St is underway. A signed agreement is now in place for the Fall 2021 Drawdown.
      Water levels started dropping on Monday, October 4 and will be held at the two foot maximum drawdown level Friday through Sunday before starting the refill process on Monday, October 11 with normal levels restored Friday, October 15.
      This morning Cascade Township (the owner of the dam) posted the update to the Fall Drawdown on their website. https://www.cascadetwp.com/community/cascade-dam.aspx
      The CTRA website at http://cascadethornapple.org is being updated to reflect the revised status. Likewise, our Facebook (search for CTRA) is being updated with the latest information from Cascade Township.
      Fall 2021 river drawdown volunteers are needed this Saturday and Sunday!
      The CTRA needs volunteers to:
      Document the exposed riverbed in front of your property on Saturday and Sunday (when water is at its lowest point)
      Describe the width and composition of the exposed river bottom (muck, sand, gravel, rock, mixed)
      Make observations of stranded aquatic organisms, especially freshwater mussels (commonly referred to as clams)
      Take photographs and counts of any stranded organisms
      Relocate any stranded organisms to the water
      Submit your information to cascadethornapple@gmail.com and include:
      Your property address or area surveyed (if larger)
      Photographs
      Counts (even if your count is zero)
      Comments on any hardship from a 2 foot drawdown compared to our historical 4 foot drawdown
      Note: If you have any issues submitting your information via email please let us know and we will find an alternative method to gather your photos.
      Information you submit will be used to create a potential permit request with State of Michigan regulators, and if approved it may restore 4 foot drawdowns in the future. CTRA will work in close collaboration with dam owner Cascade Township on this effort.

      Thank you for your assistance,
      Your CTRA Board of Directors

    • SAD Public Hearing

      Wednesday September 22, 2021
      7:00

      Update: The Cascade Township Board of Trustees on a 7 to 0 vote approved the formation of the Ad Hoc Thornapple River Special Assesment District Committee. The township will be sending out notices to SAD residents seeking participants to serve on the committee to help assure SAD funds are allocated appropriately.

    • SAD Public Hearing

      Wednesday September 8, 2021
      7:00

      Update: The Cascade Township Board of Trustees reapproved the formation of the Thornapple River Special Assesment District #1 after a lengthy public hearing by a vote of 6-1 in favor of the resolution. The Thornapple River neighborhood can now unify to help support restoring the section of the Thornapple River we call home.

      Step 3 of the SAD establishment process (take 2).

      The Special Assesment District establishment process resumes as part of the agenda for the Cascade Board of Trustees meeting on September 8th. While the meeting starts at 7:00, the SAD start time will be determined by the time used for other agenda items. CTRA members are strongly urged to attend the the meeting to show support for the SAD. Township Board Members have indicated that public support is vital for establishing a Special Assesment District. Show your support for the river we share by taking time to attend this meeting!
      Casccade Township SAD Links

    • Fireworks on the River

      Saturday September 4, 2021
      after Dusk

      The 2021 Fireworks on the River event will be held on Labor Day weekend.
      The Fireworks are best viewed from your boat. See the map in the Newsletter. Thank You to those who generously donated last year (we had some extra donations to carry forward to this year) but we are still short of our 2021 goal so your continued support is needed. Donating is easy using the CTRApay portal link below or use big gold button on the Membership page to go to the regular CTRApay portal to pay your annual CTRA dues as well!
      2021 CTRA Newsletter
      CTRApay - Fireworks Donations
      CTRApay - Dues and Donations

    • SAD Restart Update

      Wednesday August 11, 2021
      7pm EST

      The Cascade Township Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to move forward with the repeat of step 3 of the SAD establishment process and announced that September 8th will be the Public Hearing date.
      Announcements will be sent out by Casacade Township prior to the meeting. It was also confirmed that the 10% cap on increases above the base $300 was over the term of the assesment period (15 years) and not per year. Many district residents had expressed concern over the possibility of having a 10% increase per year even though that was never the intention.

    • SAD Roll Certification

      Wednesday July 28, 2021

      Cascade Township Supervisor, Grace Lesperance signed and certified the SAD roll for the Thornapple River SAD.
      This marked the offical restarting of the SAD approval process.

    • Wednesday May 26th, 2021
      7pm EST

      The CTRA sent the following notice to all SAD area residents with emails on file.

      The Thornapple River Special Assessment District (SAD) will be on the township board agenda this Wednesday, May 26th at 7pm. The SAD was already approved on February 10th, 2021 after an extensive public process, however it is possible that the process may be reversed without additional support. Your public comments in support of forming the SAD advisory committee and collecting required funds will help to keep the process moving forward. The meeting on Wednesday, May 26th at 7pm will have both an in-person and a virtual option. Your opportunity to comment will be near the beginning of the meeting, regardless of how you choose to attend.

      In-Person at the Wisner Center: 2870 Jacksmith Ave SE
      Zoom Meeting ID: 817 6957 1319
      Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81769571319
      Zoom Telephone dial-in number: +1 312 626 6799

      Please consider submitting your comments in writing to the township board if you cannot attend the live meeting. Send them to the emails below no later than 11am EST on Wednesday, May 26th 2021 to ensure they are included.
      [Note: Township contact emails are not being included on our website]

      Township Master site
      May 26 Meeting Zoom Link


      A live, free broadcast via Zoom online meeting service will be used. Email or mailer was sent to your address with sign on information.


      Topics included financial update, year-in-review, river quality information, special assessment district (S.A.D.) update, board election and more…

    • The CTRA Annual Meeting

      Wednesday May 12th, 2021
      7pm EST

      The Cascade Thornapple River Association 2021 annual meeting was held virtually again this year. The CTRA Board appreciates your flexibility and understanding as we navigate the challenging circumstances related to COVID-19. Meeting minutes will be posted and sent out after the meeting to accommodate residents unable to attend in this virtual gathering format. 2021 Annual Meeting Zoom Link
      2020 Slidedeck
      2020 Recording


      A live, free broadcast via Zoom online meeting service will be used. Email or mailer was sent to your address with sign on information.


      Topics included financial update, year-in-review, river quality information, special assessment district (S.A.D.) update, board election and more…

    • River Dam Drawdown Volunteers

      April 16
      2021

      Spring 2021 river drawdown volunteers are needed this Saturday and Sunday!

      The CTRA needs volunteers to:

      Document the exposed riverbed in front of your property on Saturday and Sunday (when water is at its lowest point)

      Describe the width and composition of the exposed river bottom (muck, sand, gravel, rock, mixed)

      Make observations of stranded aquatic organisms, especially freshwater mussels (commonly referred to as clams)

      Take photographs and counts of any stranded organisms

      Relocate any stranded organisms to the water

      Submit your information to cascadethornapple@gmail.com and include:

      Your property address or area surveyed (if larger)

      Photographs

      Counts (even if your count is zero)

      Comments on any hardship from a 2 foot drawdown compared to our historical 4 foot drawdown

      Note: If you have any issues submitting your information via email please let us know and we will find an alternative method to gather your photos.

      Information you submit will be used to create a potential permit request with State of Michigan regulators, and if approved it may restore 4 foot drawdowns in the future. CTRA will work in close collaboration with dam owner Cascade Township on this effort.

    • River Dam Drawdown

      April 13
      2021

      Right now the schedule is:

      Tuesday, April 13 through Friday April 16 – Start of drawdown and river to be dropped six inches per day to reach a maximum drop of two feet.

      Saturday April 17 through Sunday April 18 - River held at two foot drawdown.

      Monday April 19 through Thursday April 22 - River to be raised six inches per day to return to normal level.

      Thursday April 22 - End of drawdown

      On April 13 CTRA representatives met in the afternoon with the other parties controlling this week’s drawdown. The CTRA Board met later that evening to discuss details of the requirements for drawdown monitoring activities to establish efforts to reach out to volunteers to monitor the drawdown. The CTRA is working hard to restore future drawdowns to the historical 4 foot drop level. Watch for future updates on this topic. If you can assist during this drawdown and have not already volunteered please let us know if you want to help! Just email us at cascadethornapple@gmail.com

    • River Dam Drawdown

      April
      2021

      The Spring drawdown has always been the second weekend of April. Special challenges threaten this years drawdown. Stay tuned for updates. Email updates are being sent out. Consider providing CTRA your email address if you want timely updates!

    • Special Assesment District Update!

      Establishment of the Thornapple River Special Assessment District Number 1 involves a twelve step process outlined in Michigan Public Act 188 of 1954. The extensive process is administered by the Cascade Township Board of Trustees and the Cascade Township Clerk. The Board of Trustees votes to move forward with the process at four distinct points that are referred to as resolutions. Upon completion of Step 12 in the process the new annual assessment of $300 per parcel will apply to the Summer 2021 property tax bill.

    • Special Assesment District Progress Continues!

      The Cascade Township Board Meeting on Wednesday December 16 included the approval of step six of the Township SAD steps (see link below). Step seven - Notice of the Second Public Hearing is in progress. Watch your mailbox for a physical copy of the notice.
      Township SAD steps
      CTRA SAD Response
      Township Master site
      SAD Parcel List

    • Special Assesment District Progress Continues!

      The Cascade Township Board Meeting on Wednesday October 21 included the approval to go forward with the SAD process by the Cascade Township. The Township website will have more details on the actual schedule for implementing the SAD. The next steps are basically just following the requirements of Michigan Law for implementing Special Assesment Districts. Details of the process steps are included below for your reference. The latest CTRA response that was presented as part of the October 21st approval meeting is also linked below. While support for the SAD was overwhelming there were some concerns raised. We as a community need to move forward together to make the SAD work best for our river. The CTRA prepared a document addressing many of the concerns expressed during the first public meeting that was held on September 23. That response was intended to clarify some of the concerns that were raised. It is a good read. Click below to access the CTRA responses.
      Township SAD steps
      CTRA SAD Response

    • Wednesday October 21st, 2020
      7:00 PM+

      The Cascade Township Board Meeting on Wednesday September 23 included the First Public Hearing for the SAD. Due to some technical issues regarding notice a second, First Public Hearing on October 14th was scheduled. However, due to the recent Supreme Court ruling virtual meetings were not allowed under the Open Meetings Act. The Township meeting is currently being recheduled to Wednesday, October 21 when (hopefully) a new law will clarify the legality of virtual and/or hybrid meetings. The township website has been updated with information on this meeting. Some expected information is not yet posted. Check back for more information.
      Zoom Access to Township Meeting
      Township Agenda
      CTRA SAD Response
      Township SAD Package
      CTRA SAD Map - Not updated!
      Township Master site

    • River Dam Drawdown

      October 8-11
      2020

      The Fall drawdown is always the second weekend of October.

    • Special Assesment District Progress!

      Wednesday September 23th, 2020
      7:00 PM+

      The Cascade Township Board Meeting on Wednesday September 23 will include the First Public Hearing for the SAD. We are the sixth New Business item on the agenda so our actual starting time is unknown. Agenda Item 057-2020 Consider Resolution of “Declaration of Intent to Make Public Improvements”; Hold First Public Hearing For Thornapple River Special Assessment District No. 1.
      Zoom Access to Township Meeting
      Township Agenda
      Township SAD Package
      CTRA SAD Presentation
      CTRA SAD Map - Not updated!
      Township SAD Notice
      Township Master site

    • CTRA Fireworks

      Saturday September 5th, 2020
      At Dusk

      The CTRA membership really came through to fund this year's Fireworks Show! Thanks to all that donated. If you liked this years show consider donating to next year's show.

    • The CTRA Annual Meeting

      Wednesday June 3rd, 2020
      7pm EST

      The Cascade Thornapple River Association 2020 annual meeting was held virtually this year. The CTRA Board appreciates your flexibility and understanding as we navigate the challenging circumstances related to COVID-19. Meeting minutes will be posted and sent out after the meeting to accommodate residents unable to attend in this virtual gathering format.


      A live, free broadcast via Zoom online meeting service was held. Email or mailer was sent to your address with sign on information.


      Topics included financial update, year-in-review, river quality information, special assessment district (S.A.D.) update, board election and more…

    • FREE FISHING WEEKEND

      February 15 & 16, June 13 & 14
      All Day

      Two days twice a year, families and friends can enjoy one of Michigan's premiere outdoor activities, Michigan Fishing, for FREE! The 2020 Free Fishing Weekends are scheduled for winter: February 15 & 16 and summer: June 13 & 14.

    • River Dam Drawdown

      April 9-12, October 8-11
      2020

      The Spring drawdown is always the second weekend of April and will continue as planned despite the COVID-19 crisis. The Fall drawdown is always the second weekend of October.

  • Important Updates

    • PFAS Fish Testing Results for Ada and Middleville

      May, 2020
    • Boat Launch Update

      April, 2021
      Thumbnail 2

      The Boat Launch Upgrade program will be continued in 2021. An upgrade to regular CTRA membership is required. See the Membership Page to purchase the Boat Launch Upgrade.

    • Special Assesment Update

      August, 2021
      Thumbnail 1

      The Thornapple River Special Assesment District was approved by the Cascade Township Board only to be later cancelled due to a technical issue at the township because the roll had not been properly certified as stated in the aproved motion. The process was restarted when Supervisor Lesperance certified the roll on July 28, 2021. The next major milestone is a Public Hearing to be held on September 8, 2021 as part of the regular Cascade Township Board of Trustees meeting.

    • PFAS Update

      June, 2021
      Thumbnail 3

      Due to the PFAS contamination of residents drinking wells by discharges from the Gerald Ford International Airport many residents are being forced to switch to municipal water.
      Township Press Release

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