Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting -- April 17, 2021
A. Call to Order: 10:00
B. Roll Call: Present: Marty Williams, Mike Solomon, Mike Bengelink, Ron Klimp, Dave Foley; Shari Spoelman. Also attending – Jennifer Jones -Jermalowicz, CEO of Restorative Lake Sciences (RLS)
C. Additions/Deletions: None
D. Approval of Agenda: Unanimous approval
E. Approval of October 19, 2020 minutes: Unanimous approval
F. Public Comments: None
1. Election of Officers: The officers of the Lake Mitcchell Improvement Board for the next two years are Mike Solomon, chairman; Shari Spoelman, vice chairman; Ron Klimp, Treasurer and Dave Foley, secretary.
2. Treatment of Japanese knotweed – Vicki Sawicki of North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management.
Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant, was identified in 2017 in 25 locations in the vicinity of Lake Mitchell. This plant looks like bamboo, can grow up to 12 feet high and has heart shaped leaves. Its rugged root system, which can be as deep as 60 feet and range out 15 feet, can damage roads and building foundations. Eradication costs $120 an hour but a grant allows state to absorb half the cost lowering it to $60. Vicki indicated that in some cases there would be no cost. The Hamlin Lake Preservation Society split cost with property owners bringing it down to $30. Solomon and Spoelman would like to see if townships have zoning regulations regarding invasives. Williams indicated that for about $1900 the LMIB could finance the eradication.
This may be a project that the LMPOA and LMIB could work together on. Jermalwicz-Jones, the RSL consultant noted, that although plant does not directly enter the lake, it could reduce biodiversity in the watershed.
A MOTION was passed for the LMIB to ask the LMPOA to explore the issue and see if they will get involved.
3. Treasurer's Report (Marty Williams)
Current Balance - $241,980.79 (4/16/21)
The assessment will be lowered for the coming year in the following way: Tier 1 (lakefront residences) drop from $150 to $100, Tier 2 (back lots) drop from $75 dollars to $50, and Tier 3 (commercial) drop from #300 to $200. At the new assessment level annual LMIB assessment revenue will be $69,000. This will lower fund balance and within 2-3 years LMIB balance will have reached target balance of $150,000.
A MOTION was made and passed agreeing to new assessment.
4. Consultant's Report (Jennifer Jermalowicz Jones) – Surveys of lake to determine location of invasive and nuisance weeds will begin in late May and treatment will follow in early June. If weed problem in coves and canal are apparent, these areas will get earlier treatment.
5. Roadside Pickup - Paul McDonald has been contracted for $8000 to do weekly roadside pickup of aquatic vegetation again this year.
At request of Dave Kuyers roadside pickup will begin on May 17th, one week earlier than had been stated in the contract.
A MOTION, and passed unanimously, made this official with agreement to pay another $440 dollars (his weekly rate) to Paul McDonald.
6. Cherry Grove Township discussion -Each year Selma Township pays an assessment of $2500 for their lakeshore parks and boat ramps. In the past Cherry Grove was not charged as they were managing the Board's finances. Lat winter Cherry Grove asked to be paid for their work and it was agreed LMIB would pay them $2500 annually. This year Cherry Grove was charged $2500 for their public parks and boat landings. Cherry Grove has declined to pay this. This situation is still under discussion.
7. Other business – Lake levels – Because of low precipitation in the winter and so far this spring (normal is 6.7 inches, this year 1.66 inches), lake levels are down more than usual. The dam was closed on March 30 leaving just the 8 inch square opening flowing. An EGLE permit is required to modify this flow. Most years the closing doesn't occur until mid-May.
8. Board member comments – Foley indicated newsletter is at presses and will be mailed (May1 ?)45 days before first treatment (a legal requirement since it contains the spray notice). Website will contain all newsletter info plus more.
H. Public Comments:
Dave Kuyers – Appreciated that Board had developed a plan (lowering assessments) for lowering fund balance. Also wondered effects of lower water on weed growth. Jermalowicz-Jones noted that shallower water allowed more light penetration which would increase weed growth.
Lance Litton – Pointed out that closing the dam still meant water was going through an 8 inch opening. Solomon pointed out that EGLE mandated that there be an opening.
Dave Stringer noted that that 8 inch opening released millions of gallons every day. He also was concerned that LMIB was contemplating supporting with money a project to kill invasives that weren't actually in the lake.
Ron Moelker acknowledged that while Japanese knotwood, known as Godzilla wood was a problem but it did not effect the lake water. Moelker asked about length of RLS contract, when it was last bidded out and when it began. He was told RLS contact was for 5 years, RLS was hired in 2009 and last time bids were taken was 2008.
I. Adjournment: 11:09.