2019 Meeting Minutes -- Lake Mitchell Improvement Board

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Minutes  --   October 26, 2019


A. Call to Order: 10:00

B. Roll Call: Present: Mike Bengelink, Shari Spoelman, Marty Williams, Mike Solomon, Dave Foley, Tom Jacobson, . Absent: none. Also present -Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones RLS consultant.  

C. Additions/Deletions: None

D. Approval of the Agenda:Motion to approve Spoelman, 2nd Bengelink. Unanimous approval vote.

E. Approval of August 24, 2019 Minutes: Motion to approve – Spoelman, 2nd Foley. Unanimous support.

F. Public Comments:

Dave Kuyers - “Are there public comments at end of meeting. I don't see it on the agenda. Solomon. “We will have comments at end of meeting.”

G. 2019 -2020 budget Adjustments: Some will come depending on weed treatment costs. 

H. Public hearing of Practicability

1. Power point presentation of status of Lake Mitchell given by Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones CEO of Restorative Lake Sciences. (This is available on website www.lakemitchell.org).

2. Public Comments -

Crystal Johnson – “Why do you use 2-4D for weed control.” Solomon: “ It has been proven safe and effective and is not used near shore or shallow areas .” Johnson”Do you test for nitrates?” Jones “Yes, levels are low in lake and higher,but not unsafe, in tributaries.” 

Kuyers  - “Is the power-point  information available for 2018?” Solomon “ Yes, it is on website.”

Kuyers – “There is quite a bit of vegetation near my dock on north end of lake. I note that 2013 was a bad year for milfoil. Will that happen again?''

Jones “ We can't predict what will happen in the future, but this is not a rare occurrence.”  Kuyers – The possibility of a re occurrence of a bad milfoil year is the reason the Board maintains a large fund balance.

Dave Stinger  questioned thoroughness of GPS mapping as evidenced by his observation of untreated milfoil in main lake. Perhaps more funds should be allocated to upgrading or better GPS mapping.  Since we are spending less on chemicals in recent years maybe more could put into GPS mapping. 

Johnson wonders if the Board could find more ecologically friendly ways of treating vegetation. 

3. Hearing is closed to Public comments.

4. Board discussion

Bengelink and Spoelman expressed their appreciation for work of RLS.

Solomon pointed out that whereas under a previous consultant 500 GPS points were used, now more than 1700 points are laid down and scans are now used. 

Tom Jacobson  noted that proposed assessment for 2020 will be $150 annually for lakefront property, $75 for back lots with lake access, and $300 for commercial lots. 

5. A motion was made by Shari Spoelman and seconded by Mike Bengelink to proceed with the resolution for improvements to Lake Mitchell. The motion was approved unanimously by the Board.   

I. Public Hearing of Assessment

1. Presentation of special assessment rolls for Cherry Grove, Selma, and the City of Cadillac.

Solomon noted the assessment rolls had been posted, a first class mailing sent to all members of the assessment group, and the notice had been published twice in the Cadillac News.

2. Public comments

Dave Horns asked if this assessment was an addition to old assessment or replaced the old assessment. Solomon said this replaced current assessment. 

Johnson noted that expenses of current year were much greater than revenue. Jacobson explained that that was why the fund balance was high so all expenses could be covered before revenue arrived. New assessment will replenish falling fund balance.

3. Corrections to assessment rolls. 

No corrections were made.

4. Discussion by LMIB – none

5. Review of Apportionment hearing closed

6. Resolution confirming assessment roll. Shari Spoelman  made a motion seconded by Mike Bengelink to confirm the resolution confirming the special assessment roll and direct the collection of special assessments for improvements to Lake Mitchell for 2020-2024. The motion was unanimously approved by the Board. 

J. Weed pick-up contact

Dave Foley read the weed pick-up contact for 2019 and the program will continue in 2020.

K. PLM (Professional Lake Management contract was renewed.)  (PLM administers chemical treatments and harvesting.)

L. RLS (Restorative Lake Science) contract was renewed.  (RLS, under leadership of Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones, is the consultant providing lake management.)

M. Riparian Representative -  Tom Jacobson  finished his 4-year term  as the riparian representative.

     Board members expressed their appreciation of Tom's work as a representative and treasurer. Marty Williams will replace him as treasurer. 

    Ron Klimp will be the new LMIB riparian representative. 

Public Comments

Kuyers – Wondered if there was a conflict of interest between Solomon and PLM. 

Johnson  Noted that government agencies often have employees/ staff fill out a form stating any conflicts of interests they might have.

Bob Miller asked for a definition riparian rights.  Solomon said riparians those who owned property on water. It was discussed how far a riparian owned into a lake. The best answer may come from an attorney specializing in this topic.

Stinger – Encouraged LMIB members to observe the lake to make and give feedback to RLS. 

Jay Puvogel wanted to know how many assessment were on the lake. Solomon told him there were 794 assessments.

Board Comments – Solomon noted hat there were no conflict of interests between the Board and himself and PLM. He noted that over the years at least two other applicators had been used and PLM proved to be the best. Solomon also noted that the LMIB Board approved his work with RLS prior to his beginning as it would provide more knowledge to the LMIB. 


N. Meeting adjourned: 11:22 



Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Minutes -- August 24, 2019


A. Call to order: 10:01

B. Roll Call: Present; Mike Bengelink, Shari Spoelman, Marty Williams, Mike Solomon, Dave Foley, Tom Jacobson. Absent; None. Also present Grant Jones from Restorative Lake Sciences.

C.Additions/ Deletions:Add Agenda item 4. (2020 Meeting Dates) and Agenda item 5. (Determining next assessment).

D. Approval of agenda: Motion by Williams, Second by Spoelman. Approved unanimously.

E. Minutes:  June 24 meeting minutes  read by acting secretary Marty Williams. Motion for approval by Foley. Second by Spoelman. Unanimous approval.   

F. Public Comments

  Dave Kuysers noted that minutes were first introduced at this meeting and should, by law, been posted no later than 8 days after meeting. Computer error caused minutes to be late. Secretary Foley noted normal procedure for getting out minutes on time and said future ones would be on time.


G. Agenda items

  1. Treasurer's Report: Tom Jacobson passed out sheet detailing calendar year financials, 2019/2020 accounting to 8/22/19, 2018/2019 accounting up to 6/30/19, and history of financials 2010 to 2019.


   Balance at end of 2017/2018 $325,601.51

   2018 Revenue     34,344.55

   2018/19 expended     89,233.85

   LMIB accounted balance                    270,712.21  

   Cherry Grove township reported balance  $270,712.21  


   2. Treasurer's recommendation for 2020 assessment:

   Create an assessment that will accrue a balance of $400,000. This would allow for two years where weed production was unusually high. Example: In 2014 $225, 871.29 was needed to deal with weeds and meet board expenses. Treasurer Jacobson noted that assessment options include: 

  $125  would raise $89,500

  $150 would raise $100,500

  $175 would raise  $122,500

Current assessment of $50 raises $34,500.

Assessment in 2007 was $275

Jacobson recommended assessment of $150 each year.


Motion was made by Spoelman and seconded by Foley to set the assessment at $150  for 2020. (assessment can be changed if needed during that time.) Motion passed unanimously. 


  3. Resolution of intent to hold hearings

       Motion was made by Spoelman and seconded by Solomon to hold public hearing 10 AM on October 26 at Cherry Grove Township Hall. Spoelman  then read entire legal document authorizing setting of public hearing. (This can be found on LMIB website adjacent to minutes of this meeting.)Motion was approved unanimously.


  4. Proposed Meeting Dates for 2020:

     April 18

     June 22

     August 22

     October 19

Motion by Foley and seconded by Spoelman was made to approve these dates.  Motion was approved unanimously.  


  5. Consultant's Report: Grant Jones reported that 39 acres of milfoil (with Sculpin and Navigate) and 1.7 acres of native weeds were treated on July 22.  In June Big Cove had been treated with a new chemical, ProcellaCOR, which is mor expensive but requires less product than current products and more effective but at this point is only effective in shallow water that is calm (not blown by wind). ProcellaCOR was highly effective in Big Cove. 

    Tom Conrad – Why wasn't lake treated earlier? Jones: Late spring caused later weed growth. How does chemical kill weeds? Navigate and Sculpin are systemic herbicides that kill roots. But it takes 6-8 weeks to actually kill plant . (Contact herbicides kill plant quicker but not roots). Prop chop and wind carries dead plants to shore.

H. Correspondence - None

 I. Public Comments:  

      Ron Moelker speaking on behalf of LMPOA: If recent years have shown a steady decrease in amount of milfoil needing treatment why is assessment going from $50 to $150? Spoelman: Reduction was designed to lower balance and now we need to build up balance to have a reserve ready if weed growth spikes. 

     Jackie Erway: Why the increase in assessment? Jacobson: We need financial insurance in case we have to pay more for treatment. Chemical cost is going up.

    Moelker: Appears to be discrepancy in RLS and PLM maps of treated areas. Jones:  Recent treatment was of new growth but areas were on edge of old treated areas.

  Moelker: We have weeds crowding some docks making it difficult for boats to maneuver. What is Board policy on this? Solomon: 100 feet of navigation from docks is Board goal.

   Moelker: Why do we have 5 years between public hearing? Solomon: It costs several thousand dollars to put on a pubic hearing. Longer interval saves money. Assessment can be lowered or raised to $250 maximum at any time.   

  R. Maxwell:   Concerned about fluctuating budget from year to year. Jacobson:  The varying needs of weed control cause budget to change.

  Dave Kuyser: Budget should be based on money set aside for aquatic weed control. Find that figure and build budget around it.

Pat McCormack: I would rather pay more and be ready to deal with unexpected increases in weed growth.

Jay Puvogel: “$150 is peanuts.”

Gary Meverdan: We should consider setting a cap on amount of money put in reserve. 


J. Committee Member Comments:

    Foley – Recent wind storms have blown plastic inflatable rafts and toys around the lake. If description of lost or found item, along with address/phone of finder or loser, is sent via Lake Board email. (See website ), Foley will mention it in the Board's next communication.  


K. Chairman Comments

  Solomon – The nature of milfoil to hybridize and become more resistant to chemicals necessitates higher doses and change in chemicals. That is why ProcellaCOR is being tested. (A description of  ProcellaCOR's qualities is explained earlier in consultant's report.)


L. Adjournment:  11:22   

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board (LMIB) meeting minutes -- June 24, 2019


A. Call to order at 10:00 a.m.

B. Roll Call: Present; Marty Williams, Shari Spoelman, Tom Jacobson, Mike Solomon, Mike Bengelink and RLS consultant Dr. Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: Dave Foley.

C. Additions/Deletions: Two additions. 1) Amending numbers for the budget and 2) Discuss 5 year program for assessments. 

D. Approval of agenda – Motion to approve by Shari Spoelman, 2nd by Mike Bengelink. Unanimous approval.

E. Approval of April 27, 2019 minutes w/ additions. Motion to approve by Shari Spoelman, 2nd by Mike Solomon. Unanimous approval. 

F. Public Comments: None.

G. Agenda items:


1. Treasurer’s report (Tom Jacobson) – Tom said we have had approximately $68,000.00 in expenditures since the last Cherry Grove Township report on 3-22-2019, of which approximately $53,000.00 were for lake treatments. On 6-24-2019, we have a balance of approximately $270,000.00 (Attachment 1). Cheery Grove Township and Tom Jacobson will meet to balance the budget between LMIB and Cherry Grove Township. Currently our expenditures are higher than our revenue because we are trying to lower the budget balance. The financial requirements of managing Lake Mitchell have been lower for the past few years and will be for the foreseeable future. A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made by Mike Bengelink and 2nd by Shari Spoelman. Unanimous approval. 


2. Establish recommended assessment amount and length of time – Mike Solomon brought up that many lake management boards have a 5 year management plan/program for lake assessments. There will be a public hearing this fall in October to approve the 5 year plan/program/budget. The maximum assessment was set at $250.00 per year, for a 5 year period. A motion to approve the 5 year plan/program/budget for Lake Mitchell was made by Mike Bengelink and 2nd by Shari Spoelman. Unanimous approval; Dave Foley was not present.


3. Consultant’s report; (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones) – Dr. Jones said approximately $55,025.00 was spent on treatments. Restorative Lake Sciences’ (RLS) are trying a new treatment and studying its effects. The results should be reported at a later date. Purple Loosestrife beetles were applied around Lake Mitchell. The spring treatments went well. 


a. Board comments and questions – None at this time.


H. Correspondence – None reported at this time, however, Dave Foley was not present and handles the majority of the correspondence. 

I. Public Comments – 

1. Jackie Erway asked why the maximum assessment has been set at $225 per year in previous years. Mike Solomon and the LMIB informed Jackie that the actual annual assessment is typically less than the maximum amount and the maximum assessment is agreed upon by Lake Mitchell Improvement Board to be set at a level that would allow the Board to successfully respond to any management concerns for Lake Mitchell. 

2. Ron Moelker asked if the chemical posting (yellow poster) indicated that the chemicals listed on it were used at that particular site or did it cover what was used somewhere in the lake? Mike Solomon said he will check on it and get back to Ron.

3. Dave Stinger asked if we knew the dollar amount we came into 2019 with? Tom Jacobson said he will check on it and follow up with Dave.

4. A concerned citizen asked if the Clam River dam was closed. Mike Solomon reported the dam was closed to the legal level for the flow of the Clam River on 6/23/2019. 

5. The McCormick’s thanked the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board and RLS for the management of the lake. They commented that they saw more mayflies this spring/summer than they had in several years. They brought cookies to share with the board and public attending the meeting!


J. Committee Member Comments – Mike Bengelink thanked the McCormick’s for their nice thank you note and fresh baked cookies.

K. Chairman Comments – None. 

L. Adjournment – Meeting was adjourned at 10:54 a.m.


Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting minutes -- April 27, 2019


A. Call to Order: 1:00 P.M.

B. Roll call: Present; Dave Foley, Marty Williams, Shari Spoelman, Tom Jacobson, Mike Solomon, and RLS consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: Mike Bengelink 

C. Election of Officers: Nomination of Mike Solomon for president by Spoelman, 2nd by Williams. Elected by unanimous vote.

Nomination of Shari Spoelman for vice-president by Foley, 2nd by Jacobson. Elected by unanimous vote.

Nomination of Tom Jacobson for treasurer by Foley, 2nd by Spoelman. Elected by unanimous vote. 

Nomination of Dave Foley for secretary by Spoelman, 2nd by Jacobson. Elected by unanimous vote.  

D. Additions/Deletions: add “7.” Report of 4/27 LMPOA meeting.

E. Approval of agenda – Motion to approve by Foley, 2nd by Spoelman. Unanimous approval. 

F. Approval of October 29 minutes. Spoelman requested minutes be amended to show that “a special committee of Foley, Spoelman, and Solomon would meet to find a way LMIB and LMPOA could decide sharing of website”. Motion made by Spoelman and 2nd by Solomon. Change was approved unanimously.

G. Public Comments:

Jean Wright commended LMIB for producing a quality website.

Ron Klimp wondered why Dr. Jones conducted election of president of LMIB. He was told that boards often do this to avoid conflict of interest in choosing a president. 

H. Agenda items:

1. Treasurer's report (Tom Jacobson)

   So far tax bills have added revenue of $33,000 and expenditures amount to $20,000.

In 2019-20 budget only changes are raising line item “notices” under printing and publishing to allow for increased expense of  postal mailings of public hearing. Goes from$300 to $1000.

   Under Professional services “Consultant/administration goes from$21,250 down to $16,000. The additional money was for the watershed study.   

   Jacobson projected the following for the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board fund:

$300,000 Estimated balance at end of fiscal year 2018/2019.

$35,400 anticipated revenue

$189,750 anticipated expenditures

$145,650 estimated balance June 30, 2020.

A motion was made by Foley and 2nd by Spoelman to accept Jacobson's report and budget assessment for 2019.   Motion [passed unanimously.

2. A motion was made to accept Jacobson's recommendation that we stay at current assessment of $50 for lakefront lot, $25 for deeded access, and$100 for commercial frontage. Motion was passed unanimously.       3. Marty Williams and Dave Foley, after viewing three bids for roadside pickup contractor, selected Paul McDonald's bid of $8000. McDonald also provided proof of liability insurance.  Motion was made by Foley and seconded by Spoelman to hire McDonald for 2019 season.

4.  A sub-committee of Solomon, Spoelman, and Foley recommended LMIB maintain their website and provide a link to LMPOA website when it is established. Both groups will share use of email list.  

5.  A motion was made by Mike Solomon and seconded by Spoelman to have a public hearing and LMIB meeting on Saturday October 26 at 10AM . The October 21st meeting will be canceled.

6. Consultant's report; (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones)

The canal and coves are scheduled to be surveyed on May 21st. The main lake will be surveyed on May 30 and June 6. 

    Dr. Jones then presented a power point showing the results of Restorative  Lake Sciences' study of the Lake Mitchell watershed. This report (complete with photos) is on our website (lakemitchell.org).

7. Lake Mitchel Property Owners Association (LMPOA) summary of April 27 meeting (Mike Solomon). The lake residents' survey was discussed and the LMPOA may ask members to pay annual $50 dues.

Correspondence – none

 J.  Public Comments:

Jay Puvogel asked that, as long as center number on fertilizer was “0” was it okay to use fertilizer. Jones pointed out that fertilizer also had nitrogen which promotes aquatic weed growth. Spoelman, who works with Michigan State Extension, said  a soil sample analyzed by MSU ext. will give a good indication of whether fertilizer is needed.

Dave Stringer feels that since all property owners pay an assessment, some of the money should be available to LMPOA. Spoelman said that legal  restraints dictate that LMIB must use money for its mission of aquatic weed control. 

Jay Puvogel asked that weed pickup begin on Tuesdays (rather than Mondays) since Monday is often the day lakeshore residents rake weeds off their beach.

Jay Puvogel raised concerns about day and weekly rentals as these renters often cause problems.

Jim Wright asked if we were flexible on weed spraying. Solomon pointed that milfoil is priority and done first, but nuisance weeds treatment will follow . Where treatment fails, those areas will be retreated.  When LMIB is made aware of problem they will check it out.

Dave Kuyers  asked if LMIB has a targeted  balance. Solomon responded that Board would like to keep 90,000 to100,000 on hand to handle emergencies such as occurred with sudden hybrid milfoil emergence 4 years ago. The question of target balance will be addressed in near future.

K. Board comments 

Shari Spoelman encouraged looking at Michigan Shoreline Partnership which has classes to help with lake shore ecology. She also took  a six-session online

class “introduction to lakes.” If interested in the classes or online course, contact Shari at MSU Extension. She also reminded everyone about the Earth Day celebration in the City Park on April 28th. 

Marty Williams  invited all to participate in Clam River cleanup Saturday May 11 meeting at Sound Garden and working from 8:30-4. 

Dr,. Jones mentioned that MLSA (Michigan Lake Stewards Association) was having their annual conference at Crystal Mountain  May 3-4.


Meeting adjourned at  2:38