2011 Minutes

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board

Call to Order - 10:03
Roll Call - Pam Dahlstrom, Shari Spoelman, Mike Solomon, Sperry Claypool, Alan Anderson, LEI consultant - Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones
Additions/Deletions - none
Approval of Minutes- Unanimous approval of July 14 minutes
Public Comments
Fred Earl: Lake Mitchell end of canal needs to be dredged. Who does that?
DNR did it last time. Dave Foley will see if that is still an option.
Gary Oosterban: Concerned that Franke South was not harvested in2011. Wanted it done next year.
W. Lake Mitchell Dr. property owner: Felt lake was more weedy than ever.

Agenda Items:
1. Treasurer's Report (Alan Anderson)
Balance as of 9/30/11 - $106,905.36
Revised Budget 2011-2012
Anticipated revenue - $191,364
Anticipated expenditure - $169,945
Estimated balance June 30, 2012 - $49,668.72
2. Drain Commissioner's Report (Mike Solomon)
Mitchell maintained court order level of 1290 until July 23
Current level 1289.14
Mike is talking to DEQ about modifications to the dam in years when water levels are extremely low.
3. By-Laws (action requested)
Mike Solomon presented By-Laws for Lake Mitchell Improvement Board to group and a motion was made( Foley) and seconded (Spoelman) to adopt the By-Laws. It passed unanimously.
4. LEI Consultant Report (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones)
Jennifer presented a power point explaining progress on Lake Mitchell and outlined options (new chemicals and laminar flow) for future consideration. Her presentation is summarized here but will be put on website (www.lakemitchell.org) by November 1.
Acres of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) in 2009 - approximately 500 acres
Acres of EWM found and treated in 2011 - 290 acres
990 GPS grid points used to survey lake in 2009. Nearly 2000 grid points used in 2011.
Two types of EWM in Lake Mitchell. Regular EWM (green stem) and hybrid EWM (red stem). Hybrd plants aren't killed by std dosage of 2-4-D (120 ppa). Hybrid plants require 150ppa dosage. This raised cost of 2011 chemical treatment.
New more effective chemical Renovate Max G ( 96% 2-4-D, 4% tryclopyr) will likely be used in the future.
New chemical, Clipper, may be used some. Very effective but expensive.
Lake Mitchell water clarity has improved due to several factors:
Increased pond weed communities
Decline of EWM and algae that clings to EWM
Spreading out chemical application rather than putting it all in water in one day.
Zebra mussels are not a factor. Although some are present, Mitchell is too alkaline to support a large population.
Asian clams, another invasive are appearing in Lake Mitchell.
Harvesting and chemicals are only temporary fixes in coves and canal.
Laminar flow, (pipes and diffusers aerate water causing organic matter to breakdown) in tests in other lakes is proving effective.
Jennifer then showed cost break down of putting laminar flow system in each cove and canal. (Roughly $24,000 annually for Little Cove for example). Check website for details.

Comments from audience to Jennifer:
Doug Masak - Florida has minimized weed using chemical RADAR. Jennifer pointed out that DEQ standards limits what they will permit. RADAR and other chemicals are above that standard.
Jim Kenyon - Concerned about amount of weeds showing up on his beach, especially EWM. Prop chop is a likely cause of this.
Another query asked Jennifer what would happen if coves were allowed to remained with no work done on them and also what would happen if we just continue to use chemicals and/or harvesting. She indicated she would be willing to address this issue.

5. LEI contract renewal:
Motion was made (Foley) and seconded (Anderson) to have Mike Solomon abstain from discussion and voting on this issue as it represents a conflict of interest for him. Passed unanimously.
Motion (Spoelman) was made and seconded (Claypool) to renew LEI contract at the 2011 rate of ($16,000)for one year. Motion was 5 yeas and 1 abstention.

6. Harvesting contract - If harvesting is to be done, PLM will be given contract. Jennifer will research herbicide applicators.
Bob Garlough: How often do you chemically treat? Ans: Initially over 4-5 days and touch up work later in summer as needed. Is it supervised? Yes,an LEI staff person is either on the boat or in nearby boat. Applicator has same GPS program as LEI so grid points are compatible.

7. Donahue Assessment correction - Donahue property has been double assessed because of tiny portion of lot is on a second plat. Dave Foley will work with Selma Township treasurer and assessor to see that this is corrected to reflect a single assessment in future billings, however, monies collected in the past cannot be refunded. A motion was made by Sperry and seconded by Shari to approve Donahue's adjustment from a double to a single assessment. It was unanimously approved

8. Franke Cove discussion (Ron Moelker) -
Until 2004 Frank Cove South residents had 2 chemical treatments and one harvest. FCS Members paid for second treatment. When LMIB took over, less attention was paid to cove and it degenerated (more weeds). Moelker pointed out that while LMIB is focused on EWM, original (1988) purpose statement of LMIB included control of nuisance plants. Also pointed that “Harvest Guidelines” says “Harvest”
FCS is considering purchasing a harvester and wants harvesting resumed along with more aggressive chemical treatment to include all of SFC. LMIB's chem treatment in 2011 was deemed inadequate.

9. Little Cove discussion (Jim Vick)
Vick, representing Little Cove, wants at least supervised harvesting in 2012, perhaps in addition to navigation lane treatment with chemical. Noting mats of weeds in north central area of cove, he requests that they be harvested. In addition, areas in front of cottages w/o docks should be harvested as well.
The Wexford County Road Commission should be approached about restoring the tube that carried the second creek into Little Cove.
Shorelines with invasive plants such as loosestrife and phragmites should receive chemical treatment.
The LMIB should explore options, such as laminar flow, to restore the cove and lake for future generations
It was suggested that Ron, Jim, and perhaps a representative from the main lake meet prior to January meeting with Jennifer and she will take their input and then develop some scenarios for dealing with weed problems and work out costs to implement the various plans.

Next meeting : Monday January 16 at 3 PM.
The January meeting will insure that Donahue assessment has been adjusted ,dates are set 2012, and short and long term plans for weed control in coves and canal are developed for 2012.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:31


B. ROLL CALL: Present - Mike Solomon, Alan Anderson, Sperry Claypool, Dave Foley Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: Shari Spoelman,Pam Dahlstrom,
South Franke Cove, By-laws, Assessment changes
E. APPROVAL OF June 11, 2011 minutes: Unanimous


1. Treasurer’s Report (Anderson) Update of current financials of LMIB:
2010/ 2011 Fiscal Year
Revenue $189,865.34
Expenditure $ 188,005. 65
Balance of budget $1861.69
Total Balance includes previous years carry over $28,249.72
2. Drain Commissioner’s Report (Solomon):
a. Current Lake Level is slightly under spring
level. Due to high spring/summer rains lake is higher than normal. The dam is closed
3.Assessment procedures and responsibilities (Anderson)
a. Selma Township paid $1650 to cover their contribution to Special Assessment equal to 2 units for each Township lakefront lot. This was to fulfill the agreement that was reached in 2007.
b. Cherry Grove Township declined to pay their $1100 assessment pointing to their in-kind services to the LMIB through handling LMIB money and time and services performed for LMIB by their treasurer.
c. It was agreed that the LMIB secretary will make sure the Equalization Office is notified each year of the status and rate of the Special Assessment and that by June 1 each year a resolution will be provided to the Equalization office requesting an assessment on the summer tax bill.
d. During the winter a committee led by Mike Solomon will be formed to write by-laws for the LMIB and work will be done a LMIB procedures manual for insuring assessments are properly done and kept on record.
e. Motion: For the 2011/2012 fiscal year the LMIB expects revenue of $190,000 and will budget $170,000 in expenditures. Approved by unanimous vote.
4. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. Consultant’s Report (Jermalowicz-Jones)(Foley)
A. 2011 Lake Mitchell Weed Control Update:
1. 295 acres were treated for Eurasian water milfoil and nuisance vegetation in early June. On July 16 the canal was treated again with an algae control chemical. Seven acres were treated along the north shore of Big Cove as well as smaller areas of Little and North Franke Cove.
2. Sepro,a chemical company, donated a new product to treat 4.5 acres of thick milfoil along the west side of Big Cove. Luke Britton of A&T Service that handled chemical application also contributed free of charge services in several places in the lake.
3. Samples of Asian clams were brought in and identified by Jennifer as a common invasive species. Nothing to worry about.
4. Jennifer noted that most of Mitchell's EWM has hybridized and requires an increased dosage of 2-4D to be effectively killed. In addition new chemical was used in the coves to drop nuisance vegetation and it was very effective. In lieu of harvesting, this chemical was used. The product used effectively in the coves was cheaper than the cost of harvesting would have been. However, the high dosage of 2-4D was more expensive and all of our $130,000 chemical treatment budget was used.
5. Jennifer explained that it is hoped that where the EWM was killed, native vegetation will fill in reducing EWM acreage in future years. In the last three years milfoil acreage has dropped from 500 to 400 to 295 acres of milfoil.
6.An acre of phragmites was treated last year and no plants have been found this year.
7. Loosestrife eating beetles are in short supply so nothing will happen this year. If beetles are not available next year. Chemical treatment will be considered.

Public Comments:
1. Marilyn Cleveland is concerned about build up of decaying material on the lake bottom in Little Cove. Jennifer hopes that a laminar flow system might help that situation. She is monitoring several lakes using laminar flow and collecting data and trying to determine the cost and what would be best for Lake Mitchell.
2. Ron Klimp notes that the weed problem is worse in Lake Cadillac than Mitchell and commends us for our work.
3. A zebra mussel was found in Lake Mitchell; they are prevalent in Lake Cadillac. Jennifer doubts that Mitchell, because it is a soft water lake, will have as much trouble as Lake Cadillac whose water is harder.
4. Walt Prebay is frustrated with bass tournaments whose anglers snag his boats, and who he blames for the introduction of invasive species in our lake. He resents that the property owners must shoulder the entire burden of vegetation control expenses. He would like to ban tournaments or at least see a system developed that would require all boats going into the lake be washed.
5. Marilyn Cleveland worries that w/o harvesting the lily pads are encroaching into the cove. Jennifer explained that aggressive cutting in 2008 and 2009 may have contributed to the problem of islands of sod breaking away from the cove's north shore and drifting into the lake. The root structure of lily pads may help anchor these to the shore. At some future point the lily pads may be cut back.
6. Donna McCormack commend the board on their excellent job of weed control.
7. Several comments about South Franke Cove - A letter written by Mark Tonello was read indicating that he felt removing the lily pads in the cove would be detrimental to the habitat of fish. It was suggested a meeting with DNR fisheries biologist Mark Tonello and South Franke Cove residents might clarify some of the issues in question. The residents of the cove would like to harvest the weeds in the center of the cove feeling that they will hasten the filling in of their dredged waters. They noted there were more weeds in the center this year than in the past. Mike pointed out that the harvesting guidelines did not include weeds that far out from the shoreline. Jennifer noted that endothall might be used on broad leaf plants that are in the area.


Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Minutes -- April 25, 2011

A.Call to Order: 3:02

B.Roll Call: Present;Alan Anderson, Mike Solomon, Pam Dahlstrom, Sperry Claypool, Shari Spoelman, Dave Foley, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent; No one.

C. Additions/Deletions: G.6. Franke Cove South status report.

D. Approval of Agenda: Unanimous.

E. Approval of February 22, 2011 Minutes: Unanimous

F. Public Comments: None

G. Agenda Items:

1. Treasurer's Report (Alan Anderson) - Expense and Revenues are consistent with our budget plan. LMIB balance as of March 25 - $162,736.25

2. Drain Commissioner Report ( Mike Solomon) - As of April 25 the lakes are 7 inches above legal spring limit. (There's also a summer level limit.) The dam was open all winter in anticipation of typical high water resulting from spring runoff. The lakes were 2-3 inches below legal level entering winter.
a. Solomon reported a meeting he and Jones had with National Forest Service where in it was decided that the $10,000 money from NFS could be used to plant galercuella beetles to eat purple loosestrife in the coves.

3.Website/Newsletter Report (Dave Foley) - Number of newsletters mailed - 485, Number of email notices - 201. Cost of newsletter & website updates - $1716.79 which was slightly more than 2010, but less than 2009 and 2008..

4. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. Consultant's Report (Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones) -
a. Weevil status - Samples taken last fall showed success as “Medicore” meaning that while beetles have consumed some milfoil, damage is not extensive and below expectations. No new weevils will be added until samples taken this autumn are analyzed.
b. Using money from Forest Service, galercella beetles will be planted. At $75 per bundle of 105 beetles each, 5 bundles will purchased and deposited in in Big and North Franke Coves.
c. At Board request, the DEQ Applicator permit no longer permits use of copper sulfate in Lake Mitchell.
d. GPS survey of Lake Mitchell will be done in late May or early June and upon completion that data will be used in chemical application due to be completed by mid-June 15. Treatment will be done over a series of days so chemical will be more diluted to minimize algal blooms.
e. Whereas the contact herbicide Reward has been used to treat nuisance native vegetation in the past, this year a new chemical Clipper, a more effective herbicide will be applied. Reward is effective for 6-8 weeks, Clipper is effective for 12-14 weeks.
f. 2-4-D now is produced by Sepro as well as Navigate. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. will check out both products and choose the more effective product for use in Lake Mitchell. 2-4-D combined with Tryclopyr may be used this year as Tryclopyr by itself has not proved effective. With hybrid milfoil plants being more resistant to control by traditional means, the Board is looking for a better option for dealing with hybrid plants.
g. Sepro has introduced a chemical that may control zebra mussels. Lakeshore Environmental Inc. will determine if this right for our lake.

5. Roadside Pickup (Dave Foley)- Paul McDonald's bid for $7250 to do roadside pickup the 2011 has been accepted unanimously by the Board in a motion made by Dave Foley and seconded by Alan Anderson.

6. South Franke Cove (Ron Moelker) South Franke Cove's nuisance native weeds, especially in the undredged middle part of the cove, need attention. Having spent thousands to dredge the cove, the South Franke residents want weeds effectively controlled so their dredging won't be negated.

A. Correspondence -Mike read a letter offering a service that will stock bluegills.
B. Public Comments
1. Bob Salay lamented that the assessment group of property owners must pay for all control of aquatic vegetation. It was pointed out that while the general public and the State Park do not pay, the Forest Service ($10,000) and the two townships ($450 for each public park/launch) do contribute.

C. Adjourned at 5:03

Minutes submitted by Dave Foley,secretary.