Lake Mitchell Improvement Board
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting -- November 11, 2009
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board work session. 9 AM
Although posted notice opened meeting to public, no one attended until 11 AM meeting. The work session focused on revising the Prioritized Goal Statement, the Harvesting Guidelines, and incorporating LEI contract into LMIB budget.
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting
6 attended November 11, 2009
A. Call To Order – 11:05
B. Roll Call – Present - Larry Copley, Mike Solomon, Alan Anderson, Dave Foley, and Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones.
C. Additions/ Deletions to Agenda – several
D. Agenda Approved
E. Minutes of October 5 Meeting approved with one minor change in "Public Comments".
F. Public Comments:
Joe Walters noted that Camp Torenta Canal is filling with chladophora algae which has caused fishing for bass and crappie to decline as well as clogging boat motor intakes.
Mike Solomon noted that there is a line item in LMIB 2010 budget for dealing with chladophora in canal.
Walters also wondered if chemical treatment could be done at night when winds are calm. Jennifer pointed out that treatment starts at dawn and goes on for 2-3 12-hour days. She also commented that treatment is not done on windy days since chemical would be dispersed by moving water before it could make contact with target vegetation.
G. Agenda Items:
1. Treasurer’s Report (Alan Anderson) – On September 30 we had a balance of $95,685; the balance as of October 31 was $142,874.75.
Budget Priorities. Allan stated that the goal is to have fewer acres needing chemical treatment which would result in less expenditure. The savings would build a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. Once a contingency fund of about $60,000 has been built up then Board would consider reducing assessments for Association members.
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board received Lakeshore Environmental INC contract. Jennifer explained LEI’s contract proposal and after some adjustments it was approved. This contract forms the skeleton of LMIB’s proposed 2010 budget. (The budget is attached to the Meeting Minutes.)
In a work session after the meeting, Alan expressed concerns about the consultant raising her fee for 2010 from $12,500 to $17,000.
Jennifer offered this defense for the proposed raise:
1. $70 per hour is the prevailing rate for Consultant services and sufficient hours are anticipated in 2010 to justify $17,000.
2. The consultant provided an equivalent of $20,000 (at minimum) in service hours in 2009 for which we paid $12,500.
3. The consultant indicated that future fees can be reduced if we continue to be successful in milfoil reduction.
4. To reduce consultant fees attendance at LMIB meetings has been reduced form 9 to approximately 6.
Motion: Mike made the motion (Dave seconded) that the Board approve LEI’s consultant’s contract. The Motion was approved unanimously.
Mike gave the following rationale for renewing the contract with additional monies allocated for 2010:
1. More effective detection of Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) resulting from making a lake grid of 990 GPS points.
2. On site oversight by LEI personnel during chemical application.
3. Substantial progress in EWM control. 400 acres reduced to 55 after application.
4. Scientific evaluation of weevil planting in Big Cove made from plant samples.
5. Public Hearings’ mailing and travel expenses for LEI consultant.(Public Hearings required every three years for renewal of LMIB’s agreement.)
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report (Mike Solomon)
Lake Level is 1280.24 which is "higher than we would like."
October saw 5.65 inches of rain fall which is twice usual amount for that month.
The gates on the Clam River are open to try and bring down lake level.
3. Prioritized Goal Statement:
After much discussion and amending, a final Prioritized Goal Statement was drafted. (See attached at end of Meeting Minutes.)
Motion: Alan moved (seconded by Mike) to approve the amended Draft 2 of the Prioritized Goal Statement. Approved unanimously.
4. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. Consultant’s Report (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones)
Jennifer asked that LEI be allowed to send out bid requests to herbicide applicators and harvesters.
Motion: Mike made a motion (seconded by Dave) to allow LEI to send out bid requests to herbicide applicators and harvest contractors. Motion approved unanimously.
Mike requested that the DEQ chemical application permit be issued to Lake Mitchell Improvement Board rather than to the herbicide applicator. This would allow LMIB to make changes if applicator fails to perform adequately or is unable to perform application. Jennifer will see that LMIB receives the DEQ permit.
A. Weevil update:. Jennifer did a preliminary examination of EWM in and near weevil planting area and indications are that the planting of 10,000 weevils this summer near Mitchell Creek in Big Cove was successful. A more detailed analysis will be done on the plants.
B. Assessment role verification: The assessment roles must be verified as accurate for use in making contact with residents of assessment district regarding the public hearings.
Motion: Mike moved (seconded by Alan) that LEI contact officials at Cherry Grove and Selma Townships as well as the City of Cadillac to confirm that the assessment roles are accurate. The motion was approved unanimously.
C. Harvesting Guidelines Review: Dave asked that Harvesting Guidelines be amended to allow cutting of lily pads anywhere in the lake (rather than just in Little Cove) if it is considered necessary by LEI consultant.
Motion: Dave made a motion (seconded by Larry) to approve the amended Harvesting Guidelines document. The motion was approved unanimously.
D. Roadside Pickup Bid requests: Dave reported that someone has asked to bid on the roadside contract for 2010. Jennifer will send Dave a sample of a bid contract. So that he can begin the process of publicizing the call for bids. The current roadside pickup contractor and the person who requested the bid will be notified. A newspaper notice will be published and all bids will be due January 15 in time for the January 30 meeting and public hearing.
E. Website Newsletter discussion: A person had contacted the LMIB inquiring about being the webmaster. A phone message to that person was not answered so it was decided to retain Jim Neff as webmaster and publisher of newsletter.
Next meeting is meeting and public hearing on January 30, 2010.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:58.
The public was invited to stay as the board, after a five minute recess, reconvened to continue work on the budget and possible revisions of goal statement. This session was adjourned at 12:25.
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting -- October 5, 2009
A. Call to Order: 3:02
B. Roll Call: Present – Mike Solomon, Larry Copley, Al Anderson, Dave Foley, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent – James Dean, Lois Poag
C. Additions/Deletions: Item # Goal Statements for LMIB added at request of Mike Solomon.
D. Approval of Agenda: Unanimous support.
E. Approval of Aug. 15, 2009 Minutes: Unanimous support.
F. Public Comments:
Robert Novak: We were promised chemical treatment in South Franke after the dredging. Why didn’t it happen?
Jennifer: Our original chemical applicator refused to do the treatment and he was fired. (This was one of several problems with the applicator.) We were unable to hire another applicator to do the treatments.
Tom Talluto: The Camp Torenta Canal has not received any attention in years.
Dave: There is a line item in proposed 2010 budget that allocates funds to use a small mesh harvester and/or chemically treat the algae there.
Jo Ann Engels, President of Lake Mitchell Association: Speaking on behalf of others who live on main lake, she passed on their concerns about the amount of money being spent on a small fraction of the lake (the coves). These Association members didn’t feel that one sector should receive what appears to be a disproportionate share of funds.
Analysis of 2009 expenditure shows that harvesting accounted for 7½% ($12,500) of total spent ($166,548) on expenses relating to control nuisance and invasive aquatic vegetation. The $166,548 includes lake board funds spent for chemical treatment, weed pickup, weevil introduction, and administration.
G. AGENDA ITEMS
1. Treasurer’s Report (Al Anderson):
August Revenue: $34,058.25
Calendar Year Revenue to date: $117,416.85
August Expenditures: $39,418.00
Calendar Year to date: $170,891.49
Balance as of August 31, 2009: $15,709.11
Our current calendar year expenditures exceed our current calendar year revenue, but we have a positive balance due to carry-over dollars from 2008.
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report (Mike Solomon):Current lake level is 1289.92. Attempted to open both sides of dam but one gate is malfunctioning and remains closed. Efforts will be made to repair it. Every effort will be made to get lake level to 1288.9 by December 15.
3. Cove Sub-Committee (weed harvesting Guidelines) Al Anderson:
Al Anderson submitted a draft of Cove-Sub Committee Guidelines which was drafted by a committee of representatives from the individual coves as well as Association President JoAnn Engels.
Mike Solomon made a motion seconded by Dave Foley to accept the guidelines with minor modifications that were added at the meeting. The motion passed unanimously. (This document will appear as an appendix to these minutes when they are posted to the website and also will be sent with minutes to our email list.)
4. 2010 Lake Management Plan for Lake Mitchell (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones):
Jennifer presented a 14 page 2010 lake management plan that included detailed water quality studies on the lake and its tributaries. In addition specific sections dealt with lake improvement strategies including mechanical harvesting, use of aquatic herbicides and algaecides, biological control (weevils) and beetles for loosestrife, aquatic vegetation surveys, watershed management and education, and water quality monitoring.
She also submitted a 2010 proposed Lake Mitchell Improvement Costs.
The report was received favorably with some comments about whether monies should or would be available for additional harvesting or chemical treatment in coves.
The proposal may be revised before and possibly during public hearings.
5. Webpage/ Newsletter discussion (Larry Copley, Dave Foley):
Nic Gomez has offered to be webmaster for our website. Jim Neff currently is webmaster. Dave Foley explained that Neff also functions in the role as editor as he takes all material submitted for annual newsletter and prepares it into camera ready pdf. that is published by Printmaster. Neff also maintains and posts updates to our website.
Foley noted that most, who visit website also are on the email list. Instead of incurring cost of posting these updates on the website, the meeting minutes and harvest and chemical treatment maps could be sent directly to those on email list as attachments.
Dave will meet with Nic Gomez to discuss the feasibility of changing webmasters and report his findings at next meeting.
6. Goal Statements for LMIB (Mike Solomon):
Mike offered a draft of goal statements for LMIB and although some minor suggestions were added, the board agreed with most of the goals he put forth. At the next meeting the document will worked on so that a final draft will be available at the public hearing.
H. Correspondence: Dave Foley introduced an email written by Keith McRoberts, who lives on the main lake. Roberts was concerned that a minority of property owners (those living on coves) were receiving extra attention that was paid for by those living on main lake who did not benefit from this additional work. He suggested, that they should perhaps pay some of the additional cost. These concerns were addressed and answers to some of Keith’s queries appear as responses to public comments in the meeting.
I .Public Comments:
Nan Vick: The coves are an integral part of the entire lake and determine the future of the lake. The coves get worse every year and need serious attention.
Jennifer: The public hearings will be a time to help the lake board decide its priorities.
Mike Solomon: The cove solutions may involve dredging or aeration – expensive solutions. South Franke Cove residents financed a $119,000 dredging project. Devoting significant additional monies to cove problems may raise concerns among residents of the main lake. Two recent appeals to tax tribunal on lake assessments both argued that they are not seeing positive results in lake and should not pay assessments. Large expenditures for one part of lake may result in more appeals.
Jim Vick: I note your proposed budget is for $164,000. You’ve spent $170,000 this year.
It is hoped that less money will be needed for milfoil treatments in 2010.
Sperry Claypool: "The lake is for everyone." Within reason we should be sure not to let the coves situation get worse.
Pat McCormick: Lake residents shouldn’t be divided into cove and non-cove. Even though non-covers do not benefit from harvesting, maybe we should do what it takes to improve coves.
J. Committee Member Comments:
Mike Solomon thanked Jennifer for all of the efforts she has made for Lake Mitchell and the LMIB this year.
Dave Foley mentioned the October 16 Lake Board Conference held at Kettunen Center and directed those in attendance to check out www.mcnalms.org to find out more about this event which will bring together lake board members from all over the state to share their experiences and gain information about operating lake boards.
K. Chairman Comments:
Larry and the board decided to hold their next meeting on Wednesday, November 11 at 11 AM at the Cherry Grove Fire Hall on M-55.
The public hearing will be Saturday, January 30 at 10 AM at the Fire Hall.
L. Adjournment: 5:25.
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board minutes -- August 15, 2009
A. Called to order: 10:03 -- 17 in attendance
B. Roll Call – Present – Larry Copley, Mike Solomon, Al Anderson, Loi Poag, Dave Foley & LEI consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent – James Dean
C. Additions/Deletions –deleted 1. B (US Forest Service Contract) & C (Dun’s number)
D. Agenda was approved.
E. Minutes of July 18 meeting approved.
F. Public Comments:
Jim Vick: Presented Board with proposal (attached in 2009 LMIB notebook) for second harvest to arrest growth of established nuisance plant in hopes it would reduce the weed growth in the spring. He hoped 20 acres could be done for approximately $5000.
Steve Goble: Disappointed in 2009 harvesting.
Bob from Frank Cove: Klimp reported receiving only 20% of weed total compared to 2008 weeds from harvesting and roadside pickup deposited on his land.
Mary Chapo: What factors are considered in determining weed growth in a season?
Dick Wolters: cladophora algae balls are filling the Camp Torenta Canal coming within a foot of water surface. Cladophora is now showing up in other parts of lake.
Donna McCormack: Milfoil she finds near dock disintegrates in her hands.
G. Agenda Items
1.Treasurer Report: (attached in 2009 LMIB notebook). Highlights: Current balance is $10, 814.72. Summer collections will swell that total.
Having Wexford County handle LMIB finances and write LMIB checks is being explored as this would make financial record keeping easier as both County and LMIB are on January 1 to December 31 fiscal calendar which makes fiscal comparisons inconsistent. Cherry Grove Township is on a 7/1-9/30 fiscal calendar which makes it harder to keep financial records.
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report: On Aug. 4 lake level was at legal limit and continued to drop until recent rainy period. Current level is 1289.81 .24 inches below legal limit. Jack Lind has been helping evaluate historic lake level data and as a result the lake’s fall draw down will occur sooner which will help keep it at legal limit.
3. Lakeshore Environmental’s consultant report:
Lake survey for milfoil Surveying the nearly 400 acres of milfoil that was treated in early June, Jennifer found 55 acres of milfoil, of which 20.5 acres showed dying or viable plants that had been in treatment areas another 34.75 acres were newly emerged plants not found in May survey. Jennifer recommended that we treat plants to avoid spreading milfoil by fragmentation. Paying to spray these acres now will reduce the amount of carryover and revenue available from January 1 to July 1 in next year’s budget meaning that money will come from next year’s budget.
Harvesting The lake is several ecosystems with the coves being quite different from main lake. LEI will work to treat these ecosystems separately in developing a control plan for aquatic vegetation that takes into consideration short and long term goals.
Cladophora – The amount of cladophora floating in the lake, lying along shorelines and in the coves is a concern.
Jim Vick reminded board that several years ago, a propeller driven (which doesn’t stir up algae) harvester using a small mesh conveyer belt succeeded in reducing the algae near Brandy Drive. The contractor that worked along Brandy Drive has since gone out of business.
Mike Solomon and Jennifer noted that additional work in coves could be done by several alternatives including an aerator.
Bob from Franke pointed out that they had not received their money’s worth as due to dredging, no chemical had been sprayed and harvesting was done quickly and ineffectively. The Board had promised more.
Ron Moelker: These coves area different environment having more native weeds than milfoil. A more effective plan is needed to address native weeds which are choking the coves.
Jen added that there are six species of native weeds. Whereas three bloom early in the season, three species bloom later which challenges efforts to get a clean long lasting harvest or a successful chemical treatment.
Ron suggested LMIB adopt a plan that had been used successfully in the past in Franke Coves. Harvest first. Then 3-4 weeks later treat with chemical like aquathol and endothall.
Jim pointed out that coves were part of the entire lake and used by boaters, anglers, and tubers (on windy days) and those needing to launch boats t public access in Little Cove. Therefore the property owners on Little Cover shouldn’t be expected to pay for additional work.
Mike Solomon added that in previous years South Franke Cove had paid for additional treatments which is a precedent for establishing a policy to be followed when there is a desire for additional work in coves..
Tim Williams was concerned about the six-week period (early June to mid-July) when the lake clouded and turned brownish due to algae.
Jennifer Jones-Jermalowicz noted that water samples showed no unusual algae types and offered several theories on why this was the longest lasting algae bloom that any one could remember.
Jennifer went on to suggest that a propeller driven harvester with a small mesh conveyer might be able to clear Camp Torenta Cove and would likely be tried next year.
Jennifer indicated that LMIB was working on harvesting guidelines which would insure consistency in harvesting.
Ron said that the consensus was that this year’s harvesting was not good.
Jim pointed out that harvester spent more time on west side of cove and that his work on east seemed ineffectual.
Al Anderson asked Jim what his harvesting expectations were. Jim indicated that the harvester needed to cut near the ends of docks and boats wide enough for boats to maneuver and cut navigation lanes to open water. Harvester need not clear weeds between docks.
Jim noted that until recently harvester used to clear all weeds that topped out in cove and made a second harvest. Dave Foley noted that the rapid decline of cove has made it difficult to continue to follow those guidelines in the same time frame and at the same cost. Jim responded that in the long term something must be done to keep the cove as a viable boating area.
Al reiterated that the LMIB will develop guidelines, publish them and hold the harvester to them. It was decided to form a committee with LMIB members and cove representatives to work on developing harvesting standards.
Jennifer said that water quality studies are being done on Lake Mitchell tributaries and studies on lake sediments are planned. These may help us understand the source of cladorphora and other algae.
Al pointed out 90% of property owners don’t live in coves (though the vast majority in attendance were from coves) and asked to hear from non-covers.
Bud Oliver: Fewer weeds this year. Boating is much easier.
Ron Klimp (owns land where weeds are deposited): Only 20% of last year’s total have arrived this year.
JoAnn Engels (President of Lake Mitchell Association): Only half as many weeds this year have drifted to her shore (east side) and no swimmer’s itch problems in years. Things are better in the lake than in the last five years. If the coves need more money to deal with their problems the LMIB should authorize it, however, the covers should expect to pay more through special assessment to cover some but not all of additional expense.
The Lake Mitchell Association will have a meeting on Saturday, September 5 at 10AM at the Fire Hall.
Marty Chapo: We need system of measuring variables – water temperature, water clarity, weed growth to note trends to better understand what is happening in the lake.
Tim Williams: Since coves are part of the lake, all property owners should be willing to fund extra work needed in the coves so cove problems don’t spread to main lake.
Steve Goble – How about the weevils? Jennifer: The planting which was done near mouth of Mitchell Creek in Big Cove has been done. It is too early to know results.
Jim Vick – Are we going to control loosestrife?
Jennifer : If there is money, we will bring loosestrife eating galerucella beetles to infected areas
The following motions were passed:
Motion: The LMIB will form a committee including cove residents to draft harvesting guidelines, review recent harvesting and make a recommendation on who should do the harvesting for 2010. Motion by Al second by Dave. Passed with unanimous "yes" vote.
Motion: Aquatic Services will return to re-treat 20.5 acres of milfoil at no cost and an additional 34.75 acres which will be paid with LMIB money. Motion by Mike. Second by Al. Approved unanimously.
The proposal by Jim Vick for a second harvest was voted down but will be reviewed by the harvesting committee who will make a recommendation on it.
Meeting adjourned at 12:06
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting – July 18, 2009
A. Call to Order: 10:00 AM
B. Roll Call: Present - Al Anderson, Lois Poag, Larry Copley , Mike Solomon, Dave Foley and Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent- James Dean.
D. Agenda approved
E. Minutes Approved
F. Public Comments:
Mark Crosby (north shore Big Cove) – concerned that his cottage next to Camp Torenta should have been harvested. It was missed in initial cutting and if funds are available it will be done later in summer.
Bob Salay (South Franke Cove) – Feels harvesting is not the answer since weeds grow back quickly.
Jennifer’s response – Perhaps a Laminar Aerator may be the answer. The aerator pumps enzymes into water to discourage weed growth and break down biomass
Mark Crosby - asked about weeds filling in areas that formerly had no vegetation.
Jennifer’s response – This may happen as nutrients shift. Harvesting in heavily used swim areas may be appropriate.
G. Agenda Items:
1. Treasurer’s Report (Al Anderson):
Balance on hand June 30 - $131,996
June expenses July expenses
Herbicide treatment - $106,755 Herbicide $20,000 (est.)
Weed Pickup - 2,125 Harvesting 5,000 (est.)
Harvesting - 9,500 Weevils 13,523
Total expenses $118,380 $38,523
Total June/July expenses $156,903
With new township fiscal year starting July 1, new funds will be coming in.
Money will be tight, however.
Estimated balance sheet
$23,110 Estimated balance July 1, 2009
$44,205 Est. Balance June 30, 2010
Larry proposed that we look into changing fiscal year in upcoming meeting.
Motion by Mike seconded by Dave that we pay consultants’ $3125 bill for 3rd Quarter by August 1. Unanimous support.
Motion made by Al seconded by Mike and passed to pay $9750 to Western Michigan Weed Control for harvesting 39 acres @ $250 an acre. Unanimous support.
Harvesting hoped to do 45-46 acres in Little Cove but did only 39 acres was done due to budget concerns.
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report (Mike Solomon) - Lake Mitchell is .36 feet below court order limit and is dropping fast although dam has been closed for a month.
3. Springer assessment exception to master list: Because their adjacent parcels cannot legally be separated, they should be counted just as one parcel. Therefore PW-1006 will be removed from assessment rolls. This was accomplished with a motion from the board that was passed unanimously.
4. Lake Mitchell Report (Jennifer Jermalowicz- Jones, Dave Foley)
10,000 weevil larvae and pupas were planted in 2 ½ acres in Big Cove near mouth of Wheeler Creek and marked with buoys. A year from now the milfoil should be consumed and weevils will recolonize and begin spreading through the cove.
412 acres of milfoil were found and 365 acres were treated June 2-4. The third week of June, a survey was done and most of milfoil was dead or damaged. The areas still growing will be retreated the last week of July.
Although Jennifer felt harvesting had gone extremely well with navigational lines cut deeper than in previous years, there were concerns about areas in north end of Little Cove that were not (due to budget constraints) cut . Jennifer again mentioned the possible use of Laminar aerators. She will find out the cost of purchasing, installing and using aerators.
I. Public Comments
Mark Crosby – Concerned that his and near neighbors were missed by harvester. (And they were.) Mike Solomon asked if harvester could be brought back. Jennifer said she would check with the harvester, Mark Smith.
Bob Salay (Franke Cove) commended the board for trying to be proactive in their planning for future problems.
Ron Moelker (Franke Cove) Noted that although harvesting acreage was reduced from 47 to 39 acres, he estimated only 20% of weeds were removed compared to 2008. He questioned the claims that the harvester was as effective as he should have been.
Ron asked for cost per acre analysis pointing out that weevils were costing about $6000 per acre and Jennifer said that harvesting costs about $250 an acre, 2-4-D costs $345 an acre while Renovate costs $495 an acre.
Mark Crosby asked about purchasing a harvester and Moelker added that for $27,000 a reconditioned harvester could be purchased with a trailer. Mike Solomon pointed out that the LMIB could not legally purchase one but that the Lake Mitchell Association could purchase one. Lois Poag reminded them that liability could be a problem. Dave Foley added that the problem likely would arise when it came to determine the priority for harvesting, and staffing the harvester with drivers. Some years the harvester might operate continuously form late June through Labor Day.
Doug Cleveland asked if Little Cove was treated. Jennifer said it was treated with Renovate, but Dave added that milfoil only comprised 15% of weeds so treatment results would be hard to note among the rampant native weeds. Reward, a contact herbicide, was not used this year, Doug felt the overall weed control in Little Cove was not adequate. Ron noted that the South Franke Cove residents had contracted independently to use Endothall in previous years and had been effective and wondered why it wasn’t used this year. Jennifer said she would study the possibility of using it in future treatments.
Bob Salay (and Ron Moelker) were sure South Franke Cove had not been treated this year. Jennifer said the dying plants she found on her survey indicated treatment had been done. Salay and Moelker said they had never stopped watering plants and none had been damaged. Jennifer said the applicator had maintained he had treated South Franke.
Mike Solomon – Asked Jennifer to get cost estimate of Laminar Aerator, commended Franke Cove on their dredging project, and appreciated the work Lakeshore Environ mental had done with weevils, harvesting, and milfoil control achieved through chemical treatment. Mike also thanked Ron Klimp for his support and use of his land as a disposal site for weeds.
Meeting adjourned at 11:44
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting - June 13, 2009
Called to order: 10:01
Roll Call: Present – Solomon, Copley, Poag, Anderson and Foley and Jermalowicz-Jones
Absent – Dean
Additions and Deletions: add 6. water testing
Agenda unanimously approved.
Minutes of April 27 LMIB meeting and April 27 Public Hearing approved unanimously
- Why is water a cloudy green? Jennifer responded, We have a cyclic bloom of blue-green algae brought on by wind and waves as well as dying plant matter resulting from recent chemical treatments which causes nutrients to be released. Bloom will likely recede in 2-3 weeks.
- Why was South Franke Cove not treated? Jennifer responded. Two reasons. 1) Concerns about liability from operating an airboat around dredging equipment.
2) Since dredging will disrupt plants anyway, it is better to wait until after dredging to deal with nuisance plants.
- Was Little Cove treated, no one saw it happen? Treatment occurred over three days – June 2-4 and the treatment of the cove probably took only a few minutes in an airboat. In two weeks the dying of the weeds should validate the treatment.
Treasurer’s Report – Al Anderson
Balance as of 4/30/09: $131,355.47
Balance as of 5/31: $135,041.74
As bills for chemical treatment arrive in late June, balance will drop significantly.
Drain Commissioner’s Report – Mike Solomon
Current Lake Level is 1293.23 feet which is .23 or about 3 inches above legal level.
Last year we received 44% more than normal of precipitation, followed by a snowier than usual winter.
A year ago on June 13th we had the heavy rains which raised lake level 18 inches above normal. Six inches above normal is what you might expect in a once-in-a-100-years event.
Lake Mitchell Association – Lois Poag
The annual meeting held May 23rd went well with about 30 in attendance the Association will have a meeting on September 6th.
Lake Mitchell Update – Dave Foley
Property owners have requested the board look into funding cleanup from Sod Islands that have drifted onto private shoreline, trees that have fallen into the Camp Torenta Canal, conduct water testing, and plant fish. These, along with the bass release program all are outside of the functions of the Board whose main responsibility is to deal with aquatic vegetation issues. This fall, when public hearings are held, is the appropriate time to revisit board responsibilities and perhaps enlarge them to encompass new activities.
Rick Hodges, an association member, has agreed to donate up to $100 to reimburse Mike Engels for expenses he has incurred collecting and releasing bass from tournaments using his personal boat.
Special Assessment Oliver Properties – Mike Solomon
Mike Solomon, Bill Oliver, and Michael Green, the County Zoning Administrator reviewed Mr. Oliver’s concern about his assessment and agreed to declare 2110-12 as unbuildable and therefore exempt from Lake Board assessments. Oliver has the option of combining other properties to further reduce his assessment.
Lakeshore Environmental Report – Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones
The survey of Lake Mitchell took three full days in which 990 grid points were marked. Jennifer found 412 acres of Eurasian Watermilfoil and also did a species inventory that showed 24 different species of plants in the lake. Most lakes have about 12 species. This inventory will help determine what, if any, effects the treatment has on native species.
The treatment was done June 2-4.
10,000 Weevils will be planted the first week of July in a milfoil patch located in the north end of Big Cove. The cost will be $13,000 of which a National Forest Service grant of $10,000 will partially cover the expense.
The snail die off in late May was probably due to the sudden changes in water temperature. The species killed was a non-native species. This type of mortality is not unusual.
Jennifer will do some research and put information on our website concerning testing natural wells for traces of chemicals or other impurities. Data will be given on who to contact and what the cost might be.
Meeting adjourned: 12:00
Next meeting is July 18th.
Minutes submitted By Dave Foley, Lake Board Secretary
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Special Meeting – April 9, 2009
Called to order: 11:07
Role Call: Present – Larry Copley, Mike Solomon, Dave Foley, also Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones
Public Comments Gordon Maxwell offered these comments regarding his impending appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal:
Maxwell: Some properties that should have been assessed were not.
Copley: The country assessor Bruce Brown examined all properties last fall in the assessment district and corrections were made. Public hearing will make these changes official and subsequently the assessment roll will be corrected.
Maxwell: Assessments should be based on lakefront feet of property rather than by equal assessment for every lakefront property.
Solomon: We chose to go by parcel rather than by front foot. Since no matter how much one owns, they have equal access to the lake.
Jones-Jermalowicz: PA 451 of 1994which created special assessment districts did not stipulate whether assessments would be based by lakefront footage or by parcel.
Lakeshore Environmental Report: Jennifer submitted a letter to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
Mike Solomon asked that LEI represent us at Michigan Tax Tribunal hearing on April 29 and then prepare a summary of that hearing.
Jason Broekstra from Professional Lake Management expressed concerns about February 23, 2009 minutes of LMIB meeting where it was stated that PLM was not carrying proper equipment when it began treatment of Bear Lake in June 2008. Mike Solomon, who made the statement , said he was repeating what was said by a member of the Bear Lake Improvement Board. The minutes of that meeting will be corrected to show that Broekstra has stated that he had the necessary equipment on his boat when the treatment on Bear Lake began.
Dave Foley noted that the Newsletter was to be mailed on Monday, April 13. This year’s newsletter cost $808 to produce and the Newsletter plus Website update cost $1808. This was $147 less than 2008 website newsletter project as lighter paper and cheaper postage created the savings.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:46
Submitted by Dave Foley, Secretary
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting – April 27, 2009
Called to Order: 3:50
Roll Call: Present: Mikes Solomon, Larry Copley, Al Anderson, James Dean, and Dave Foley also Jennifer Jones- Jermalowicz. Absent: Lois Poag
Additions/Deletions: Lake Mitchell Association report was deleted.
Agenda was approved as amended.
Approval of Minutes: Minutes from February 23 meeting and April 9 Special Meeting were both approved.
Public Comments: none
Treasurer’s Report: Al Anderson reported the following:
$69, 179,75 -- Balance as of January 1, 2009
$69, 528.48 -- Revenue to 3/31/09
-4,145.25 -- Expenses Jan.1 to March 31
$134,562.98 -- Balance as of 3/31/09
Note: $117,500 has been budgeted for chemical treatment, and harvesting, until end of fiscal year 6/30/09.
Drain Commissioner’s Report: Mike Solomon reported lake level is 1280.36 or about 4 inches above normal. This is to be expected after the snowy winter and recent rains. The dam is open.
Lake Mitchell Report: Dave Foley reported that LEI will begin its GPS survey of lake in about two weeks when weed growth can be detected. Chemical treatment will begin when lake is 55 degrees which should be near the end of May.
Foley also commented on an approximately 40’ X 40’ land mass that broke loose from the north shore of Little Cove and eventually broke apart with some parts drifting into the main lake and others remaining in the cove. Photos of the event are on the website.
Lakeshore Environmental Inc. Consultant’s report: Jennifer reported that LEI is ready to go to work and complimented our applicator Aquatic Systems for acting swiftly to clear up confusion on the DEQ permit that made it appear as though copper sulfate were to be used as part of the treatment. Jennifer reiterated that LEI would never approve use of copper sulfate.
Public Comments: Jim Vick asked that if lake projects succeed, LMIB look at reducing assessments. The Board indicated that it would be willing to lower assessments if the situation warranted it. Mike Solomon indicated this would be evaluated on a year by year basis.
Jim Vick also asked that the Board see what it could do to deal with the loosestrife problem. Jennifer said management of loosestrife could be done by hand harvesting of the plant, the introduction of loosestrife eating galerucella beetles, or by using trichlopyr (Renovate).
The next meeting is June 13.
Meeting Adjourned: 4:53
Lake Mitchell Public Hearing for Assessment Changes – April 27, 2009
Called to Order: 3:04
Roll Call: Present – Mike Solomon, Larry Copley, James Dean, Al Anderson, Dave Foley also Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent – Lois Poag
Approval of Agenda: unanimous
Public Hearing: Larry explained criteria for Lake Mitchell Special Assessment District as approved October 15, 2008.
Bill Oliver whose assessments on five properties total $1616 explained that he never uses his lake access and being that his properties all lie across M-55 from Lake Mitchell. Oliver wondered what he could do to minimize his assessment. His best option would appear to consolidate his parcels to reduce hiss assessment.
A motion was made by James Dean and seconded by Mike Solomon to give Bill Oliver until June 13 (the date of the next LMIB meeting) to come up with a plan of action that is consistent with Lake Mitchell’s criteria for assessment. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mark Vermeer sent the board a letter and documentation showing that his property boundary for lot 2110-10-1101, located on Sunset Point Road did not actually touch Lake Mitchell and had no access to the lake. There is a small triangle of land ranging from a width of 15 to 35 feet lying between his property and the lakeshore. Vermeer requested that his property be dropped from the assessment roll.
Mike Solomon made a motion that was seconded by Al Anderson to drop Vermeer’s lot 2210-10-1101 from the assessment roll. The motion was unanimously approved.
Mike Solomon read the Resolution for Special Assessment Roll and Special Assessment Collection for Improvements to Lake Mitchell and then made the following motion:
In accordance with legal noticing procedures, the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board has reviewed the Special Assessment Roll prepared for the assessment of costs for improvements to Lake Mitchell. Public notices for this meeting were given in compliance with Act 162, Public Acts of Michigan 1962, as amended. The special assessment district was created to be equitable and fair against benefiting properties.
THE RESOLUTION CONFIRMS THE FOLLOWING:
The Special Assessment Roll shall be defined as Special Assessment Roll No. 1-09.
Special Assessment Roll No.1-09 in the amount of $10, 868 is thus confirmed.
The assessments for this specific Special Assessment shall be payable in 1 annual installment with the installment of $9,079 to be due on the summer tax roll, and payable without penalty through September 15, 2009 for Cherry Grove Township and the installment of $1,789 to be due on the summer tax roll, and payable without penalty through September 15, 2009 for Selma Township.
The assessments made in said Special Assessment Roll are ordered and directed to be collected, and the Township Clerks of Cherry Grove Township and Selma Township shall deliver said Special Assessment Roll to the Township Treasurers, with his/her warrant attached, commanding the treasurer to collect these assessments in accordance with the directions of the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board, and the treasurer is directed to collect the amounts assessed as the same become due.
Mike Solomon’s motion to accept the resolution was seconded by James Dean and unanimously approved by the Board.
(Note: A change in status in Tom Oliver’s assessment could reduce the roll by as much as $1616.)
Meeting adjourned: 3:46
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board – February 23, 2009
Call to Order: 2:59
Role Call: Larry Copley, Mike Solomon, Al Anderson, Dave Foley, James Dean along with Environmental Lakeshore Inc’s Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: Lois Poag
Additions/ Deletions to Agenda: Lake Mitchell Association will be omitted from agenda until June meeting. "6. Franke Cove" added.
Agenda was unanimously approved.
January 12 minutes were unanimously approved.
Public Comments: Bob Novak asked on behalf of Ron Moelker that Endothall again be used in Franke Cove. Jennifer indicated that this year only systematic herbicides would be used. If that fails, contact herbicides may be used.
1. Treasurer’s Report: Written reports submitted; highlights of report include the following:
In 2008 our expenditures were $148,242 and, as of 1/1/09, we have carried over $69,175.75.
In January we had expenditures of $3125 and Revenue of $1636.
Between now and 6/30/09 (the end of the fiscal year) we have projected $130,000 revenue of which $117,000 is designated for aquatic plant control and $13,000 is available for administrative costs, newsletter/website, and the first month of roadside pickup.
The treasurer’s report was unanimously approved.
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report:
Current water level is 1280.04 which is .04 above legal limit. The dam has been open since October, but record precipitation this winter probably means high water this spring.
Drain Commissioner’s report was unanimously approved.
Mike Solomon attended a Bear Lake Improvement Board meeting and offered two observations.
1. The BLIB has the county treasurer handle their finances which enables them to operate on a January 1 fiscal year which allows them to be able to access all their assessment revenue during the open water season when it is needed. It has been difficult for the LMIB to access all its money when needed from Cherry Grove Township Board due to the July 1 fiscal year. Mike is talking with Wendy Moore, the county treasurer, about having them handle our finances.
2. Bear Lake’s chemical treatment was done by Professional Lake Management several days after they had treated Lake Mitchell. At Bear Lake, PLM did not have depth finders or GPS equipment on their boats making it difficult for them to accurately follow GPS surveyed areas on the EWM location maps. Bear Lake’s consultant is LEI and Jennifer would not allow treatment to begin until PLM had GPS and depth finders on their boats. Mike speculated that when Lake Mitchell was treated PLM may have not had GPS and depth finders which could have meant that surveyed EWM areas were missed and non-EWM areas received treatment.
4. Lake Mitchell update: Foley has received no reports of milfoil floating up on beaches since October. Pike hauled through ice on tipup lines are dragging up a variety of weeds. Work on newsletter and website is continuing and both will be available by late April.
5 Lakeshore Environmental Consultant’s Report: Jennifer estimates that we will harvest about 40 acres w/o Franke Cove and 43 acres if we include Franke Cove. Projecting EWM is more difficult but it is likely we will deal with 350-450 acres. This year contact herbicides (which only kill visible plant that comes in contact with herbicide) will not be used. Systemic chemicals will be used since they kill total plant including roots.
The strategy for plant control will include the following points:
1. Treatments will occur earlier in the year (May instead of 2nd week of June) to catch plants early in their life and before they seed. This will mean less biomass on bottom of lake from decaying plants. Treatment can begin as soon as lake temperature is at least 55 degrees and EWM plants are at least eight inches high. .
2. An LEI consultant will be present on day of application to oversee applicator’s work to make sure GPS survey of EWM is followed and chemical is used on EWM areas (only). In addition LEI official will insure that boats are equipped with depth finders and working GPS units and that chemical dosage is metered to insure correct concentration is used and none is wasted.
Jennifer reviewed bids from chemical applicators and harvesters and recommended that we contract Aquatic Services Inc. (A supplementary sheet breaks down the bid for various chemicals and dosage)
Treasurer Al Anderson asked for the floor to review our finances pointing out that we had spent $120,249,000 on plant control in 2008 and we have $69,000 carried over of which we will use approximately $19,000 to meet our expenses in 2009 meaning that we are spending more than we are taking in each year. Jennifer noted that a successful plant control program will mean we will have to spend less in future years because there will be less EWM to treat. With public hearings coming late this year for determining our next 3-year plan, it is hoped we will not need to ask for a raise in assessments.
Mike made a motion seconded by Larry Copley that we accept Aquatic Services bid for 2009 adding that the difference between PLM’s 2-4-D price and Aquatic Services was only $5 and that PLM had not solved our weed problem. He asked Jennifer to see if she could get a lower price for 2-4-D. The motion was unanimously approved.
Jennifer recommended that we accept the bid from West Michigan Weed Removal to be our harvester this year. Their bid was $250 per acre.
James Dean moved and Mike Solomon seconded the motion that West Michigan Weed Removal be hired as Lake Mitchell’s harvester this year. Since this was their first year with us, Jennifer was asked to see if she could get a discount on their per acre price. The motion was unanimously approved.
5. B Assessment corrections: Jennifer will insure that public notices to newspapers and notifications of individuals receiving assessment increases are notified in time to meet legal deadlines. The public hearing is scheduled for 3 PM on April 27th.
6. Franke Lane dredging project
The Cherry Grove Township Board will hold a "Special Meeting" on February 24th on the Franke Cove dredging project. The purpose of this "Special Meeting" is to ascertain whether the Cherry Grove Township Board will administer the Project. The Lake Mitchell Improvement Board has no official involvement in this project at this time. Fifteen of seventeen Franke Cove lakeshore property owners have agreed to pay the $8500-$9000 assessment for the dredging.
As a point of information Supervisor Vaughn indicated that the Township Attorney continues to advise that under the auspices of the controlling act that Townships have no authority to establish a special assessment on an inland lake.
Further, the attorney continues to insist that any special assessment district on a lake must be formed under the authority of the act which allow boards like LMIB and that all property owners on the lake must be party to the special assessment district not limited to those on the small portion like Franke Cove.
In anticipation of possible re-contact by the residents of Franke Cove, LMIB members may be faced with another request to sponsor a Special Assessment District.
Toward this eventuality I would like to request that Jennifer do some minor research into how much it would cost to have Lakeshore oversee this project and the legal ramifications ETC.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:31.
Lake Mitchell Improvement Board – January 12, 2009
Call to Order: 3:04
Roll Call: Larry Copley, Mike Solomon, Lois Poag, Al Anderson, Dave Foley, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: James Dean
Minutes of November 3, 2008 meeting approved.
1. Treasurer’s Report (Al Anderson)
- 2008 Expended Worksheet
- 2009 Budget Worksheet (proposed)
- 2008 Revenue Worksheet
All of the above are archived in 2009 LMIB notebook.
Notes from treasurer’s report –
As of November 2008 – Revenue $123,554
"The November 2008 expenditures exceed November 2008 revenue because the LMIB has yet to be credited with all 2008 expenditures from the two participating townships and the City of Cadillac. Due to revenues exceeding expenditures in 2008 and prior years, a budget surplus of approximately $68,000 is available for use in 2009. A more accurate estimate will be available once December 2008 expenditure and revenue numbers are available. By combining this estimated $68,000 surplus with a yet to be credited 2008 summer collection of approximately $62,000, the LMIB will have approximately $130,000 in available revenue from January to June 30, 2009.
Of this estimated $130, 000, approximately $13,000 will be used to cover other board expenses from January through June, and $117,000 will be available for chemical treatment, harvesting, and weevil introduction. This $117,000 is considerably short of the original Lakeshore Environmental estimate of $172,000 for chemical/ harvesting treatment and weevil introduction.
Cherry Grove Township handles our payments and revenue collections, and their new fiscal year starts July 1st. With this new fiscal year, an anticipated $185.000 will again become available after the summer collection. This revenue will help meet some of the LMIB financial needs in calendar year 2009, but must be paid in the CG Township year in which it is performed and only $130,000 is available from January to June 30th of 2009. Al will be meeting with the Cherry Grove Township Board to discuss possible options.
Expense for weevils for 100 acres will cost about $22,800. The National Forest Service will supply $10,000, and this number has yet to be included in the proposed budget. LMIB would pay initially, and the NFS payment would be reimbursement.
With a proposed 2009 budget of $199,105 and current annual revenues of approximately $185.000, expenditures have to be reduced or carry-over revenue will diminish and end. A change from the current summer assessment to a winter tax assessment would also enable us to receive revenue in a more timely manner before our largest expenditures in the spring and early summer (before July 1).
Assessment roll changes discovered by assessors will provide additional revenue but cannot be completed until after April public hearings.
Jennifer and Larry will set up April Public hearings.
Al will work with Jennifer to set up alternative budgets to accommodate various revenue scenarios . Cost estimates will be be most accurate after weed surveys are conducted in the spring.
Motion: Motion to approve expenditures as stated in 2009 Budget Worksheet prepared by Board treasurer. Motion by Mike. 2nd by Lois. Unanimous approval.
Motion: Motion to look into having public hearings this summer for the purpose of establishing a winter assessment. Motion by Lois. 2nd by Mike. Unanimous approval.
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report (Mike Solomon)
Lake level is 1290.14 . This is above spring level and dam has been wide open since October. 5.9 inches of precipitation in December was much higher than normal.
5. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. (LEI) Report
LEI in preparing their contract incorporated "LMIB Expectations for LEI" which was prepared by Mike Solomon and Dave Foley.
Motion: Motion made to accept the "Professional Aquatic Consulting Services Contract for Lake Mitchell, Wexford County, Michigan 2009 (Renewable Annually)" prepared by Lakeshore Environmental Inc. with minor changes about water quality. Motion by Mike. 2nd by Lois. Unanimous approval.
Janet Barnes asked about dredging project Franke Cove. Dredging will be paid for by Cove residents and begin in June. LMIB is not involved in this project.
John Gearhart accompanied Progressive in a weed survey in August and was surprised to see that large visible mats of milfoil were not inspected.
Committee member comments:
Lois: Paul McDonald, who does roadside pickup, offered two options for 2009. One is a continuation of the same services as last year for $8500. The other one extended service for three weeks for $9500.
Motion: Motion was made to extend McDonald’s contract as it was performed in 2008 for $8500. Motion by Dave. 2nd by :Lois. Unanimous approval.
Al: Ask LEI to seek options in approaches to aquatic plant control and bid out chemical treatment and harvesting work to interested applicators.
Be sure to put "LMIB expectations from LEI" on website.
Motion: Motion to have LEI ask for bids and treatment options and get separate bids for harvesting and chemical treatments. Motion by Al. 2nd by Mike. Unanimous approval.
Mike: Wants continuation of water quality program and board agreed to continuation.
Asked that board consider sending two reps at $60 each to Lake Board Conference in Tustin on October 16, 2009.
Dave: Newsletter/website updates are being prepared. Information will be shared with LMIB before it is published. Jennifer will help on this project.
2009 LMIB meeting dates:
February TBA Review Applicator bids; make selection.
April TBA Public Hearing on Assessment changes
Sat. June 13 10 AM
Saturday July 18 10 AM
Saturday August 15 10 AM
Monday October 5 3 PM
Meeting adjourned: 5:12