2023 Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting Minutes



Special Meeting, Friday November 3, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Cherry Grove Township Hall, 4830 E. M-55, Cadillac, MI. 49601.  


A. Present: Mike Solomon, Chair; Ron Klimp, Treasurer; Shari Spoelman, Marty Williams, Kathy Adams. Guest – Dave Kuyers (Finance/Budget sub committee member)

B. The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am. The agenda was approved. 

C. Minutes of the October 23 board meeting were approved. 


  1. Treasurer’s Report -Klimp provided some background about the situation that we are faced with that included difficulty getting the type of reports from the township that help us with our method of budget tracking. The year-end audit numbers were different than the numbers the board was using to make decisions related to putting what was considered a surplus of funds into CDs. The auditor uses accrual accounting and the LMIB uses cash basis accounting. Additionally, herbicide treatment in August was higher than expected.

     a.) Dave Kuyer reported that when they approached the bank to cash the CD as directed by the Board in October, they were told there would be a penalty for early withdrawal ($600.00). Dave provided a proposal to the committee and to the full board on ways to manage cash flow through the remainder of FY 23-24. The proposal included not cashing in the $50,000 CD at this time, making partial payment to PLM now ($70,000) and pay the remainder in January after cashing the $25,000 CD. The $50,000 CD would be cashed in July. This would get us through until our next fiscal year, but the margins look tight so ideas on budget items to cut and postpone were discussed.

     b.) Motion made by Williams, seconded by Adams to reverse the board decision (made at October meeting) to cash the $50,000 CD. Motion passed unanimously with roll call vote.

     c.) Motion made by Spoelman, seconded by Klimp to approve the proposed plan with a couple of changes: eliminate the hard copy newsletter this year, request that PLM invoice us for EGLE treatment permit when they send us the June treatment bill in July. Approved unanimously with a rollcall vote.

  2. Current budget

Ron Klimp provided a revised budget for consideration. The board reviewed each expense line item and made changes as appropriate (including limiting treatment in June to $40,000). With agreed upon numbers in front of the board for expected expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year, 

Motion by Klimp, seconded by Solomon to approve the budget as amended. Unanimous approval with a rollcall vote.  

  3. Other Business – Points of discussion and decisions made regarding next steps:

     a.) There is a concern that the LMIB will still have a negative balance (using accrual accounting) at the end of the fiscal year. Williams stated that we should have $150,000 – $200,000 as a fund balance in the fall of each year. It is recommended that the assessment amount be increased for next year. 

     b.) Kuyers stressed the importance of understanding the numbers from the accountant’s perspective and working with the township to receive the reports that will help us with our budget tracking.

     c.) Klimp will reconvene the subcommittee (and township treasurer) for financial reports.

     d.) Klimp will provide the revised budget to board members and Mike Cool (CPA).

     e.) Spoelman will contact Dave Foley regarding no hard copy newsletter.

     f.) Solomon will notify PLM that we limit the first treatment costs next summer to $40,000 and to invoice us the permit fee and treatment in July. 



F. PUBLIC COMMENTS* Kuyers said it was nice to see the board work so well together to find solutions for this problem. He appreciates the transparency with the property owners. 

G. COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMENTS – Appreciation was expressed to Dave Kuyers for helping the board on the Finance Subcommittee. 

H. CHAIRMAN COMMENTS (to include items that may need follow-up)



Minutes: S. Spoelman

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Minutes – October 23, 2023


A. Call to Order: 10:00

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

C. Additions/ Deletions – add 6.5 PLM contract

D. Approval of the Agenda Unanimous

E. Approval of August 20 Minutes Unanimous

F. Public comments

G. Agenda Items


1. Treasurer's Report

 Lynn Nixon (Cherry Grove Township Clerk) addressed the Board noting out that recent difficulties in reconciling LMIB expenses with its budget need to be worked out between the Township and the LMIB. Treasurer Ron Klimp pointed out that year end report in given in August showed the balance was higher than the actual balance. With $75,000 of LMIB funds in CDs, the Board didn't not have a enough cash on hand to pay bills. An unusually high treatment bill (almost double of what usual August treatment required)of $95,000 caused the discrepancy. The current balance of $118,161 includes $75,000 in CDs.  

MOTION – Ron Klimp made a motion to cash in our $50,000 CD immediately. Motion seconded by Shari. Motion passed unanimously. In order to avoid future problems the Board will work with the Township to find a system that simplifies finances and delivers a clear accessible spreadsheet. This should be done by April.

Mike Solomon suggested Dave Kuyer (a lakeshore property owner) meet with Mike Cool (township assessor), Klimp, Nixon and township treasurer form a committee treasurer to improve finance reporting.  


2. Delayed payment to PLM

 The money owned PLM (Professional Lake Management) will be paid when CD is cashed.


3. Assessment for 2024 This will be done next April. The finance committee should have enough information to determine the appropriate  assessment by that time.


4. Information of Assessment will be conveyed to Equalization Office by May


5 .Weed pickup – Dave Foley noted that season was successful and program will continue next spring.   


6. Meeting Dates for 2024 LMIB – Saturday April 20; Monday June 10; Friday August 16; Monday October 14. Public Hearing will be 6PM Friday August 16.  Motion made by Shari Spoelmen/ Seconded by Kathy Adams to approve meeting dates for 2024. Motion passed unanimously


7. Consultant's Report  Ben Schemerhorn from Restorative Lake Science presented the report. A copy of PLM bid for treatment/harvesting work was presented. Motion was made by Mike Solomon and seconded by Kathy Adams to approve the contract. The motion was approved by unanimous vote. Schemerhorn noted that the annual report will be published soon. 

Citing concerns about abundant native weeds in offshore areas, Schemerhorn pointed out that EGLE will not permit native plants growing more than 100 feet from shore to be treated. Native plants growing near shore can be treated if the purpose is to open lanes for boat navigation. 

In 2023 50-60 acres of Eurasian watermilfoil was detected in the spring survey and treated. Most surveys use at least 2000 GPS points. This high number of survey points helps insure most milfoil is discovered. An unusually high amount of milfoil (96 acres) was found in August and treated.  


Public Comments:

Jackie Erway noted that many property owners are not residents so Saturdays are the best days to hold meetings.


Brad Dornbas noted the he was new to the lake and needed to know who PLM and RLS are. Professional Lake Management does our harvesting and chemical treatment. Restorative Lake Science is our consultant.    


Dave Kuyer asked if naiad, a native weed cold be treated. Schemerhorn pointed out that naiad is a native and, according to EGLE, can only be treated  within 100 feet of shore. Harvesting is an option but is expensive.


Chairman comments: Mike Solomon said we should consider approving our next assessment for five years. He also noted that while blue green algae is not prevalent we should limit phosphorus in fertilizers used on lakefront  property.


Meeting adjourned: 11:25

LMIB Meeting Minutes -- August 19, 2023




B. ROLL CALL:Present:: Ron Klimp, Marty Williams, Dave Foley, Mike Solomon; Absent – Shari Spoelamn, Kathy Adams.



E. APPROVAL OF June 12, 2023 Minutes—Foley - Unanimous



1. Treasurer’s Report -Klimp

Balance as of August 19 - $240, 522

Income $73,388

Expenses $153, 540

Ending balance  $160,370 

                $75,000 was moved from fund balance to purchase a CD.

2. LMPOA meet and greet—Klimp

  About 80 attended an:LMPOA “meet and greet” at Camp Torenta.

3. Consultant Report—Ben Schmerhorn from RLS

    recently spent 2 ½ days surveying Lake Mitchell found 125 acres of Eurasian water milfoil that have appeared since June treatment. This will be treated by Professional Lake Management at a cost of $95,000. In addition several patches of Phragmites have been discovered growing on shoreline near coves. The will be eradicated by treatment in the near future.

      Naiad and thin leaf pond weed have become more abundant this summer but because they are native plants, they cannot be treated unless they are within 100 feet of shore according EGLE rules.

      Dave Foley made a MOTION to allow the spending of up to $100,000 to treat milfoil and phragmites. Ron Klimp seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

4. Other Business



Pam Faunce noted the presence of algae primarily in Big Cove. Ben Schmerhorn said that this was typical of warm waters in summer and that none of it was the toxic blue green algae.

1. Jackie Erway inquired about harvesting. It has not been used in recent years though it could be done if weed growth became thick in coves near docks. The problem with harvesting is that the weeds grow back and it costs $300 an acre. Harvesters are not always available and to harvest in main lake involves lots of transit time. Harvesting native plants may lead to increases in algae growth. 

The summer low lake level has led to several boats getting  damaged by rocks. It was suggested that the rocks be marked       by the LMIB but Mike Solomon pointed out that due to liability issues the LMIB cannot mark rocks and removal of              rocks is not part of  LMIB duties. The LMIB is charged with controlling of aquatic vegetation issues in the lake.  

 Ron Klimp noted that he and Marty Williams have been checking out the possibility of installing aeration systems in coves and canal. They will continue to research this project. 

Mike Solomon pointed that RLS is managing several aeration projects.    





 14 attended the meeting

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting minutes  -- June 12, 2023


A. Call to order: 10 AM

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

C. Additions/deletions to agenda: None

D. Approval of Agenda: Unanimous

E. Approval of April 22, 2023 minutes: Unanimous

F. Public Comments: None

G. Agenda items


1. Treasurer's report Ron Klimp:

3rd quarter balance as of 3/31/23 - $192,643  

Projected year end balance - $139,763

2. Investments

 MOTION by Shari Spoelman, second by Kathy Adams: Allow Investment committee to move $75,000 to interest bearing account for up to a year. Role call vote. All favor motion except Mike Solomon who voted “no”. 

3. Ramp reinvestment: A ramp built in North Franke for weed hauling vehicles/boats was damaged this winter and repaired at a cost of just under $900. MOTION by Spoelman; second by Adams for LMIB funds to cover a reimbursement for ramp work not to exceed $900. Unanimous support.

4. Weed Pickup -  The program is working well.

5. Canal dredging – The Canal at the Lake Mitchell end will be dredged during the last week of June.

6. Consultant's Report – Ben Schemerhorn of RLS reported that 59.5 acres of milfoil was treated - slightly less than in recent years.  In addition 13 acres of curly leaf pond weed was treated in Little Cove as well as nuisance native and milfoil in Franke Coves and Big Cove. 

7. Other Business – None

H. Public comments -

Jim Carpenter asked if the LMIB had considered using bubblers to deal with algae buildup in coves. Carpenter provided research he had done on cost and effectiveness of bubblers. He asked if LMIB would consider this for a trial in North Franke Cove. The LMIB, some years ago, priced out an aeration system known as Laminar Flow. RLS is consultant to  the state to oversee effectiveness of aeration systems. If a system is desired, it must get a permit through EGLE and go through a multi-year monitoring program.

Schemerhorn discussed aeration systems  in several lakes and the use of muck pellets that consume algae. Large amounts of leaf litter on bottom can make it more difficult to control muck/algae. Muck pellets consume about 3-5 inches of muck a year.  

Best results come from using a combination of muck pellets and aeration. The LMIB will pay up to 10% of a requested project that deals with a specific part of the lake.    

         A  committee made up several property owners and Ron Klimp will explore aeration/ muck pellets as a solution for algae/muck problems in Lake Mitchell.

      Dave Stinger noted that the Sewer Authority and the LMIB have significant fund balances  and are still levying monthly charges and assessments. The LMIB is hoping the current assessment will gradually lower fund balance. They do keep a good amount on hand in case there is a large influx of milfoil to be treated one year.  

Ron Moelker commented on treatment of native plants and the need to treat them when they inhabit boat navigation. The DNR has rules dictating how close to

shore weeds can treated.

Jim Carpenter asked about why meetings take place on weekdays. Two of the four meetings held each year occur on Saturday. Weekday meetings may be eliminated in future years or moved to weekday evenings.

Another question asked about the terms of LMIB members. This issue will be addressed in annual newsletter.


Meeting was adjourned at 11:17. 

7 attended

Minutes submitted by Dave Foley

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting minutes  --  April 22, 2023


A. Call to order: 10 AM

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

C. Additions/deletions to agenda: None

D. Approval of Agenda: Unanimous

E. Approval of August 22, 2023 minutes: Unanimous

F. Public Comments: None

G. Agenda items

1. Treasurer's report Ron Klimp:

             Balance as of 7/22/22 $214,167     

    Balance as of 4/23/23  is $192,643

2. The annual assessment which was approved at August 20,2022  meeting will be $50 for back lots, $100 for lakefront lots, and $200 for commercial businesses.

3. Ron Klimp will convey info to Equalization office regarding assessment.

4. Dave Foley noted that the Roadside pick up program will begin in the first 2 weeks of May. More details about program are on website. Residents are reminded that only aquatic vegetation will be picked up. Yard  waste and sand will be left at the roadside.

5. Consultant's report from Restorative Lake Science's CEO Dr. Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones: The survey of Lake Mitchell vegetation will occur, depending on when growing season arrives, in mid to late May. Ben Schemerhorn will be the northern lakes district supervisor and will likely be working with Lake Mitchell.

6. Other Business

The LMIB may buy CDs earning 4% using some of the Board's fund balance. Marty and Ron will look into CD purchases using a suggestion of $60,000.   


Public Comments:

Hugh Hufnagel – inquired if assessments were being paid by government entities such as townships, DNR, Forest service ETC. Solomon responded that State Park paid  annually, townships did at times.

Dave Stinger pointed out that fund balance goal was to drop to $150,000. Currently it is $192,643. LMIB should consider lowering assessment rather than buying CDs. Solomon noted that it is dropping each year and expenses have exceeded revenue for last 6 years. If fund balance starts to climb, lowering assessment would be considered.  

Jim Wright asked if lilypads were eligible for roadside pick up. The plants would be but the woody stems/roots would not.  


Meeting was adjourned at 10:35

13 attended

Next Meeting - June 12, 2023