Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting    --    August 20, 2022


A. Call to Order: 10:00

B. Roll Call: Present – Mike Solomon, Shari Spoelman, Ron Klimp, Kathy Adams, Dave Foley. Absent – Marty Williams   

C. Additions/Deletions: None

D. Approval of the Agenda: Correction – changed 2021 to 2022 on meeting agenda then  unanimous approval.

E.  Approval of June 13 minutes: Unanimous

F. Public Comments on Agenda Items: None


G. Agenda Items:

1. Treasurer's Report – Klimp: Starting balance 7/1/22  $223,906 Report submitted showing projected balance for this year to be $194,621. Fund balance is dropping in recent years toward goal of $150,000.

2. Establishment assessment for 202 – Klimp: 

Motion was made to  leave annual assessment for 2023 at $50 for back lot, $100 for lakefront lot and $200 for commercial lot. Motion was unanimously approved.

Ron Moelker commented that the lake's property owners would pay more, if needed, to to deal with aquatic vegetation issues and hoped LMIB would approve the money needed to accomplish this. 

3. Consultant Report:

   Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones the LMIB's consultant reported that weed growth was slowed by the cold spring but then rapidly accelerated growth by the warm and wet summer. As a result, weeds appeared later, the 2nd survey showed more plants

And approximately 72 acres of milfoil were treated in Lake Mitchell on August 17 plus nuisance native weeds in coves.

    With no loosestrife eating weevils available, this shoreline invasive was treated in Big  Cove, Little Cove and  Franke Coves with with Renovate.  Loosestrife, if allowed to spread, will dominate a wetland area, out competing other native species and eliminate habitat for native insects. Some phragmites (invasive shoreline plant) was also treated in Franke Coves. 

   The late spring and then summer warm-up has created more weeds in much of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

   With cost of chemicals going up and some products not being readily available, RLS (Restorative Lake Sciences), our consulting firm, has asked PLM (Professional' Lake Management) to place orders early.

   Ron Moelker asked if zebra mussels will filter tannin in the water which gives it its dark color. No,Jennifer told him. It will filter out organisms like plankton that are in the water.

  Ron Moelker had a series of questions that Association members had asked him to raise:

   Ron Moelker asked about chemical preferences – Systemic or Contact. Systemic chemicals kill root systems so plant  won't return. Contact just kills plants but leaves roots in tact. RLS prefers to use systemic but will use contact chemicals if native plants are present. When the target is milfoil, systemic chemicals are used.  

Ron Moelker asked if diquat was used and was told it was a part of recenttreatment..

Ron Moelker noted an an abundance of loosestrife along highways and roads and wondered why if was not being treated. He was told that it is more of a problem in riparian areas.

Dave Stringer wondered why there was so much more Milfoil after June treatment. The cold spring meant that plant growth started later, much of it after the first chemical treatment. Using systemic chemicals will mean less milfoil in 2023. 

Dave Stringer wondered if LMIB was too focused on fund balance and should, instead, put more focus on chemical treatment.

Gary Huyge  wondered why there was so much algae near lakefront properties on Forest Lawn Road. Jennifer speculated that the rapid change from cold spring to hot summer may have cause more algae and Chladophora. 

Gary Huyge asked about controlling zebra mussels. Jennifer noted that there is a chemical for treating mussels but it might cost about $10,000 an acre.  A better solution is to purchase a 10 X 40 foot Benthic mat which when laid on the lake bottom will stop weed growth and keep zebra mussels away. These sell for $250-$300. You will need an easily obtained minor permit from EGLE.

Dave Coffey asked what would it cost to get the best situation for our lake in terms of weed control. Do we need to spend more? Jennifer said that we had plenty of funds for milfoil and control of nuisance weeds. The population of aquatic plants in Lake Mitchell is needed to sustain the good fishery we enjoy and health of the lake. The organic material on the bottom sustains its abundant plant growth. If we could decrease the nutrient run-off from fertilized lawns.

Torch lake has many yard signs along its shore saying “Keep Torch Blue. Don't Use Fertilizer.” Dave Foley suggested the LMIB investigate starting a similar program on Lake Mitchell.

Jackie Erway  asked if lake level effects plant growth and was told that the shallower water allowed  more light penetration which created more plant growth.   

Jay Puvogel wondered how we could get more to meetings. Meeting notifications come via email, are on website and in newsletter.

Jackie Erway encouraged Board to make all meetings on Saturdays so working folks could attend.

Jackie Erway wondered who was in charge of dredging the canal between the lakes. The State Park working with DNR and EGLE does this.

4. Need for October meeting: The Board has a meeting scheduled for October 17. If there isn't a need, this meeting could be canceled.

5. Other Business:

H. Correspondence:

I. Public Comments:

J. Committee Member comments:

Kathy Adams will replace Mike Bengelink who recently died unexpectedly. Mike was on the Board on two occasions and will be missed.

K. Chairman Comments (to include items that need follow-up)

L. Adjournment : 11:10

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting – June 13, 2022

A. Call to order: 10:00

B. Roll Call:

Mike Bengelink, Marty Willliams, Shari Spoelman, Ron Klimp, Mike Solomon, Dave Foley – Present. None were absent.

C. Additions/Deletions: Add discussion about assessments. G. 3.5

D. Approval of agenda: Unanimous

E. Approval of October 18, Minutes: Unanimous

F. Public Comments:

Sharon White – Ty's Landscaping's (Tyler Anderson) roadside pickup has been great. 

G. Agenda Items

1. Treasurer Report: Ron Klimp (Full report will appear on website)

   Budget revenue $72,133

   Expenses   $60,512

  Ending balance 5/25/22 - $215,621

     2. Assessment  $200 for commercial, $100 for lakefront, $50 for backlot,

  Revenue from assessments still is greater than projected expenses. 

  At next meeting LMIB will consider whether to lower assessment or hold it at current levels.

      During Public Comment, Ron Moelker noted that with inflation, costs may rise faster than expected and we should wait before dropping assessment.        

     3. Weed pick-up  - Dave Foley

  Tyler Anderson of Ty's Outdoor Services LLC has been contracted from spring of 2022 through fall of 2024 to do roadside pickup for an annual rate of $8,550.00.

    4. Consultant Report: Jennifer Jones of Restorative Lake Science

   The late-arriving spring slowed weed growth but warmer weather has accelerated growth. 

   Only 13.5 acres of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) was found when RLS did their 1700 point GPS survey.  Because growth has come late,some additional EWM may be found in subsequent surveys. Curly Leaf Pondweed, an invasive plant. (5 ½  acres) has been found in Little Cove and Franke Coves and will be treated with ProcellaCOR@ and Diquat. Much of the chemical ProcellaCOR@ is produced in the Ukraine which may create supply issues. Mike Solomon noted costs of chemicals have risen 10 to 50% in the last year.

    White Stem Pondweed and Robbins Pondweed are the principal  native plants in Lake Mitchell. Both are considered helpful to providing fish habit and which is  key to good lake health.

     Although not a problem yet, an especially hot summer could bring on blue-green algae blooms which can shade out lake vegetation.    

   An effective but expensive herbicide ProcellaCOR@ may be used more to treat EWM as plants develop a resistance to 2-4D and Trycoplyr which have been used to treat weeds in the lakes for a number of years.

   The buildup of chladophora algae in the Torenta Canal may  necessitate a harvest of that material this summer.  

H. Correspondence: None

I. Public Comments: Comments were made at this time and information to answer these was supplied after the meeting. That information has been has been assembled here.


Sharon White: How long has chemical been used and do they still harvest in Lake Mitchell? Chemical used to treat weeds began in the late 1980s and first was used to treat a plant called naiad. When EWM appeared, treatment continued. Harvesting was initially done along with chemicals. Because EWM spreads by fragmentation, cutting it only causes it spread more. Harvesting was used for nuisance native plants. While the harvester tried to collect most of it, some plants fell off harvester. In addition harvesting was  a temporary fix and had to be repeated several times in a summer.


Ron Moelker: How do property owners find out about the LMIB?

The mailing list for the newsletter comes from the Equalization Office and is the same list as the tax rolls. If you get taxed, you receive a newsletter or are on our mailing list.


How many GPS check points is RLS using in its survey? 1800 are set. Shallow water is visually surveyed for weeds and if bottom can't be seen,a rake is thrown to sample aquatic growth.


Jay Puvogel expressed his appreciation that the Torenta Canal would harvested again this summer. Puvogel also alerted Board to a pickup point for weeds that is at the edge of Camp Torenta.   


Jean Wright – What is slime in Little Cove? Likely an algae bloom brought on by hot weather.

Unknown commentor:  Does RLS use drones? Not on Lake Mitchell


Dave Stinger – Could you give us an explanation of how you do the survey and what technology are you using?

Jennifer responded. Using a GPS point intercept program. The survey delineates between native and invasive plants and grades them on a 1 to 3 scale based on density of weeds.


     J. Committee member comments: 

Mike Bengelink : As you consider lowering the assessment, remember that costs may change and require more expense.

     K. Chairmen Comments: None

     L. Adjournment: 10:45