Homeowners vote no to rebuilding Midland condominium complex
(06/16/2020) - Residents of a condominium complex that experienced major flooding following the collapse of two dams in Midland County three weeks ago have voted to not to rebuild.
"We got like three suitcases, and two duffel bags and a Yeti cooler full of meat and we just walked away," said homeowner Joan Ballard.
Four and a half years of memories inside Rod and Joan Ballard's Midland home were stuffed in those bags. The rest was destroyed and washed away by flood waters.
"My husband describes it he says it looked like a bomb went off there, because everything floated to the ceiling and then when the water went down, everything kind of came down in it's own little spot," Joan Ballard said.
What was left of the Ballard's retirement home is now unlivable, along with all 46 units in the Village West condominium complex. Residents had two options rebuild or walk away.
"We needed 36 people to vote for one option. And 38 or 39 voted to walk away," Joan Ballard said.
For now, the Ballards will be staying in a cabin they own on Higgins Lake as they regroup. But the lifelong Midland residents said their plan is to return home someday.
"Right now, it's crazy in Midland to try and find a home with some many people displaced by the floods, so we are just going to live up here for at least a year and see how the grant goes, see how the insurance money pays out and everything and then we'll start thinking about looking to come back to Midland," Joan Ballard said. "But we will come back to Midland. We love it."