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Governor, MDARD Honors Centennial Anniversary of Michigan’s Intercounty Drain Program

Drainage program an integral part of state infrastructure, economic development

Thompsonville, Mich.—Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring honored and celebrated the state’s Intercounty Drain Program for 100 years of dedicated service protecting Michigan’s drainage infrastructure. Boring presented a tribute on behalf of Governor Gretchen Whitmer during the annual Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioner’s (MACDC) Conference held in Thompsonville.

“Throughout its 100-year history, the Intercounty Drain Program has been focused on improving our drainage infrastructure, which is the foundation of the development of agriculture, supporting our roads, and safeguarding our homes and businesses by removing excess soil moisture to reduce flood impacts,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “Along with our partnership with drain commissioners, consultants, contractors, and ongoing budget support from Governor Whitmer, MDARD continues to improve our storm drains and sanitary sewers serving more than 17 million acres of agricultural and urban lands and roadways.”

The Intercounty Drain Program was founded on August 30, 1923, by the passage of Public Act 316, which expanded MDARD’s responsibilities to include the administration of intercounty drains and drainage boards. The program establishes, improves, and maintains more than 950 intercounty drain drainage districts spanning approximately 68 counties serving as vital outlets for thousands of county drains.

“The Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners appreciates our collaboration with MDARD,” said MACDC President Evan Pratt, Water Resources Commissioner for Washtenaw County. “Our members are responsible for over 6,000 of the more than 41,000 miles of drainage systems throughout the state making our MDARD partnership a critical piece of the service we provide. In fact, a large part of the southern lower peninsula was very difficult to farm until drainage was provided in the 1800s. MACDC is proud to have served our state’s farmers and agriculture community for more than a century.”

MDARD’s Intercounty Drain Program and MACDC continue to work together on major improvement projects around the state including the following recently completed $11 million Little Tobacco River Intercounty Drain in Clare and Isabella counties; and the completion of $45 million in upgrades to the Milk River Retention Treatment Basin Pumping Station in Macomb and Wayne counties.

“Along with our drainage boards and commissioners, MDARD will continue to utilize the vast tools of the Michigan Drain Code to improve the state’s drainage infrastructure,” added Boring. “The Intercounty Drain Program looks forward to serving Michigan for another 100 years and beyond.”

To learn more about the ICD program, visit