2013 Minutes

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board


Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting – October 14, 2013

Call to Order: 10:00

Roll Call: Present: Mike Solomon, Dave Foley, Alan Anderson, Sperry Claypool, Shari Spoelman, Mark Howie. Plus Restorative Lakes Sciences' Grant Jones

Additions/Deletions: 4a. Meeting Dates

Approval of the Agenda: Unanimous

Approval of August 10, 2013 minutes: Unanimous

Public Comments:None

Treasurer's Report (Anderson) – Balance as of 8/31/13 - $87,704.29

Chemical application expenses exceeded 2012 by approximately $60,000 and was $40,000 ahead of average year. Carryover money allowed this additional expense to be covered.

Herbicide Committee Update (Solomon, Spoelman, Alan Anderson, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones (RLS), Jason Broekstra(Professional Lake Management)

Treatment of main Lake was very successful. Less successful in coves and canal. In future, better coordination needed in determining “when” and “where” chemical is applied.

Awaiting SePRO lab analysis of Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil (HWM) samples taken from Lake Mitchell in the spring. These samples will be subjected to various herbicides and dosages to determine thresholds and tolerances of these plants.

Conclusions: There is a need to measure HWM density as well as acreage of HWM.

Need to develop a means of accurately determining the success of a chemical application.

Coves and canals need to be surveyed earlier and probably treated earlier in the season since they warmup sooner and weeds are ready to treat earlier.

Continue to use Clipper, which although expensive, has proved effective.

Need to determine “fair share” in determining treatment and which parties will assume cost of additional work in coves and canal.

The middle of Little Cove will be included in the DEQ treatment permit.

Underwater Hazards (Foley) – The recent destruction of a boat's motor and damage to the hull brought to light the problem of underwater hazards in Lake Mitchell. In the late 1980s the LMIB was able to take advantage of an EPA Clean Water Grant and was able to move and break up rocks in shallow waters. Those monies are no longer available. Following a precedent started by the City of Cadillac of not marking hazards because of potential liability problems, the LMIB, will not act on marking hazards. At this time removal of water hazards is not listed among its priority goals. It was noted that private parties have taken upon themselves to place buoys to mark hazards in Lake Mitchell.

Garmin Request (Foley) – The Garmin GPS company has asked to use data from www.lakemitchell.org as a service to users of its products. This request was approved by the LMIB because the data was public.

Meeting Dates (Foley) – A list of meeting dates for 2014 was submitted and after discussion, it was decided to table this matter until the January 13 meeting.

Consultant's Report (Grant Jones) - Sediment samples were taken and measured in Little Cove and the canal and sediment levels ranged from 54% to 72%. Levels of more than 50% can be effectively treated by Laminar Flow Aeration systems.

Public comments regarding consultant's report:

Tom Talluto – An unofficial survey among some of the residents of the canal found majority not in favor of paying out-of-pocket for Laminar Flow Aeration system.

Grant Jones – RLS has investigated and grants are not available for aeration systems. Jennifer will meet with canal residents if there is interest in the project.

Solomon – The LMIB will consider funding up to 10% of an aeration project.

Consultant's contract 

After discussion a motion was made by Shari Spoelman and seconded by Sperry Claypool to approve a contract offered by RLS for 2014. The contract is for the same amount ($16,000) as the 2013 contract and includes additional surveys and research studies. Mike Solomon, who is employed by RLS, abstained from voting. The remaining membership approved the motion.

Herbicide Applicator's contract

Mike Solomon noted that PLM has submitted a bid, substantially lower than competitors, the last two years and has been awarded the contract for those years. The LMIB has felt PLM has performed well and has the equipment and experience to manage the 300-400 acres of milfoil that has appeared in each of the recent years. Solomon suggested that the LMIB not call for bids this year and award the contract to PLM as long as it does raise its price significantly.

Solomon made a motion to renew PLM's contract for 2014 and Anderson seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous to extend PLM's contract.

Public Comments:

Ron Moelker to Jones – Appreciates LMIB is addressing needs of coves. Would like them to consider using Aquathol in coming year for pond weeds. Jones noted that PLM felt Clipper would do the best job.

Doug Oosterbaan – Wondered if LMIB had achieved the 10% reserve that they had set as a goal. Anderson replied that we have made that goal because of funds carried over from previous years.

Tom Jacobson (Lake Mitchell Property Owner's Association President) – Wondered if post treatment survey covered entire lake or just treated areas. Jones answered that initial survey is for treated areas; later survey is for entire lake.

Bob Salay – Noted that to eliminate weeds you had to eliminate muck. Asked, “Has anything been done to remove sediment.” Solomon replied that DEQ permit is required to do dredge. Dredging is not among Prioritized Goals of LMIB and LMIB lacks funds to underwrite dredging. Board will pay 10% toward aeration project, if this is considered a viable option.

Salay asked about hiring personnel to trench through shallow areas and had we thought about harvesting. Solomon replied that harvesting had not been proven effective and received complaints form property owners about weeds that had fallen off harvester.

Salay noted that in his opinion the Board had not improved lake and needed to focus beyond killing of milfoil. After paying assessments for 15 years, Salay felt the lake was in poor condition.

Tom Jacobson – LMIB must continue its efforts. To quit aquatic plant control program could leave Mitchell looking like weed-filled Woodward Lake on M115.

Comment – Has LMIB considered suction dredging? Jones/Solomon: The cost is $3000-5000 per acre and requires divers in water to collect plants. Dense areas of plants may cost up to $18,000 per acre.

How about roller harvester? Solomon: Board will look into that and see if it could be useful.

Jay Puvogel -Asked about low lake level. Solomon: Dam has been closed since June 7. It's a dry year and improvements being made to dam may allow a better shut off system for 2014.

Meeting adjourned: 11:35

Next Meeting: Monday January 13, 2014 at 10AM

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting Minutes  -- August 10, 2013

A. Call to Order: 10:01
B .Roll Call: Present: Shari Spoelman, Mike Solomon. Sperry Claypool, Alan Anderson, Dave Foley, RLS consultant, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: Mark Howie.
C. Additions/Deletions to Agenda: None
D. Approval of the Agenda: Unanimous
E. Approval of the Minutes: Unanimous
F. Public Comments: None

G. Agenda Items:

1. Treasurer's Report (Alan Anderson)

2. Educational Workshop (Dave Foley Shari Spoelman) Beginning immediately after meeting ends.

3. Consultant's Report: Applicator Jason Broekstra's report: June 20th treatment was evaluated during August 1 survey where it was found that overall treatment was successful, but some new areas of milfoil (70 acres) appeared along northwest shore of Lake Mitchell and these will be treated on August 14 with a fast-acting contact herbicide. In addition 7 acres which were originally treated will be retreated at no cost. These were areas that received spot treatments which were less successful due to dilution and drift of chemicals.

RLS consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones report: The unexpected abundance of native plants, particularly in the coves created a problem as these plants were missed when these areas were treated with a systemic herbicide for hybrid milfoil. A retreatment with a contact herbicide effectively eliminated these native plants. In 2014, these native plants will be treated at the same time as the hybrid milfoil. It is hoped that the chemical application scheduled for August 14 should eliminate plants that would otherwise be a problem in 2014.

Lisa Huberty from the DEQ ,who works with permitting for treatment of invasive species, rode in the survey boat which inspected Lake Mitchell on August 1 made the following recommendations:

1. More testing of milfoil plants in Lake Mitchell needs to be done to determine the diversity of hybrid plants and how they respond to chemicals.

2. For future applications, it is important to use different chemicals and dosages so hybrid plants will not develop an immunity to them.

Based on Huberty's recommendations the following motions were passed:

1. Motion by Shari Spoelman and seconded by Sperry Claypool to approve the amount of $31,800 for treatment of 70 acres of new Lake Mitchell hybrid milfoil in 2013 and also retreat at no cost to the LMIB 7 acres of milfoil not killed by the first treatment.

Note: According to treasurer Alan Anderson, as of 6/30 the LMIB had a balance of $80,000 which is sufficient to pay the cost of additional treatment. This year approximately $155,000 has been spent on chemical treatment.

The motion passed unanimously.

2. Motion by Shari Spoelman and seconded by Sperry Claypool to allocate not more than $2000 to be used by the LMIB herbicide sub-committee for testing hybridity of milfoil (examining its DNA) and after determining genetic strains than determine effective dosage and chemicals for future applications. Motion passed unanimously.

SePro would collect specimens of hybrids and conduct this study.

3. Workshop Report – Dave and Shari put together an Informational workshop that began immediately after the LMIB meeting featuring experts on lake ecology, administrators of the weed control program and fishing experts. About 50 attended.

H. Public Comments:

JoAnn Engels – Concerned about weeds along waters off West Lake Mitchell Drive. Treatment was less successful here and this will be the focus of the retreatment done on August 14.

2nd Question – Looking for an update on loosestrife eating beetles. Jennifer: Program is going well and plants are being damaged. End of year survey will be made in October.

Tom Talluto – Wondered about plant for treatment of weeds/algae in Torenta Canal. Mike: Two treatments have been made in the canal but problem is the buildup of muck. Aeration is a likely solution and if residents of canal are willing to financially support it with LMIB paying up to 10%, it may be tried. Jason: A new chemical SeeClear is being tested which breaks down algae and precipitates phosphorus out.

Michael McCready – Concerned about zebra mussels. The low alkalinity of Lake Mitchell softens their shells so they have become less of a problem in Lake Mitchell. There is no known chemical solution for them.

Shari Spoelman – Wondered if milfoil could be a problem in the Clam River. Jennifer: The rapid water flow in the Clam makes that an unlikely growing area for milfoil.

Gary Hughey – If dam is closed, why is water level in Lake Mitchell dropping. Mike: If the rate of evaporation exceeds precipitation, the water level will drop. The dam has a 12 inch square opening that must always be open to supply water for the Clam River. Engineers are currently looking at making it possible to close that opening at the discretion of the drain commissioner. That could happen if it is determined that Clam River ecology would not be damaged by closing of the dam.

Bud Oliver – Are chemicals harming the lake? Jennifer: We are careful to be sure our dosages and chemicals chosen are well below the limits set by the DEQ.

Ron Moelker – Native weeds are creating problems, especially in the coves. Jennifer noted that in the spring the emphasis was on treating milfoil and native weeds became a problem. Next year native weeds will get more attention and earlier contact treatments should alleviate the problem.

Another lake resident was concerned that chemical treatment postings only occurred on the day of treatment. Jason: Doing it earlier had been tied but created confusion when weather conditions postponed the treatment. And in responding to another concern about the one-day lawn sprinkling ban, something which absent property owners and automatic sprinklers couldn't avoid, Jason said that in 19 years working as an applicator he had never heard of lawn being damaged by sprinkling on the treatment day.

Tom Huckle – Has the LMIB ever asked for voluntary contributions. Solomon: No, that request came from the Lake Mitchell Property Owners Association.

Bud Oliver – We appreciate the work of the LMIB.

Board members Comments:

Alan Anderson: Selma Township hasn't paid it annual contribution of $1650 that it has in past years for its Lake Mitchell properties despite written requests from the board's treasurer.

Mike Solomon: Our success in 2014 means we continue the basic chemical plan we are currently using. Lisa Huberty indicates SONOR treatment might be needed if the situation deteriorates.

Meeting adjourned: 11:07

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting Minutes -- July 20, 2013

B. ROLL CALL: All Present (Solomon, Anderson, Howie, Claypool, Spoelman , Dave Foley plus Nick Pressick and Grant Jones from Restorative Lake Services LLC)
E. APPROVAL OF June 5, 2013 minutes - unanimous

1. Treasurer’s Report—Alan Anderson
a.) Balance as of 6/30/13 - $228,808.69
Balance does not include $148, 438 spent for chemical treatment on June 20.
b.) True balance as of 7/1/13 $80,370.19
c.) Additional costs will be incurred as result of 6/17 treatment of coves.

2. Educational exposition-- Foley/Spoelman
The Exposition will be held at Cherry Grove Fire Hall on M55 on August 10 from 11-12 immediately after LMIB 10 AM meeting. This is put on with City of Cadillac and will offer information about the lakes' weed control programs, ideas on how lakeshore property owners can keep harmful chemicals from entering the lake, the status of the lakes' fisheries and how to effectively catch fish in Mitchell and Cadillac. More specific details on the workshop will be released in the near future. We tried to secure Carl T. Johnson Center for the exposition but were unable to get requirements for Recreation Passport waived.

3. LMIB/LMA meeting—Anderson/Claypool
Alan Anderson reported on a meeting held with Tom Jacobson, the incoming president of the the Lake Mitchell Property Owners' Association. It was suggested that future, attempts be made to coordinate meeting dates with the LMPOA and the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board (LMIB). The LMIB was asked if they could move their off-season meetings from 3 PM to evenings. The LMPOA may be more involved in activities such as boating, swimming, Lake quality, fishing, and lake levels as well as issues of concern such as the proposal to build a marina on the north side of Lake Mitchell.

4. Consultant’s Report – Nick Pressick from RLS
1.) Because the nuisance weeds were problematic in the coves, PLM sprayed these waters on July 17 with a contact chemical, Triple Play.
2.) Areas covered included Little Cove, Franke North, the Torenta Canal, and several places along he Big Cove shoreline.
Work on the Lake Mitchell has been done on the following days:
June 11-12 Lake survey
June 20 – Chemical treatment
July 17 – Contact herbicide applied in coves and canal
July 20 – Survey of Lake Mitchell
August 1 – Survey of Lake Mitchell and possible retreatment.


$37,000 was budgeted fore experimental treatments. Different dosages and various chemicals were used. It is hoped a more economical and more effective treatment will be discovered through these tests.

DEQ permits were not approved until the last minute because DEQ was not sure how accurate field tests would be as chemicals after being applied may drift which might make these sites unable to yield valid information about treatments applied there. Also they wanted to make sure that chemicals used were safe.Mike Solomon suggested that next year the board make its decision earlier and give DEQ more time with permit request.

Treatment in coves, while effective on milfoil, did not address native nuisance plants. The spraying July 17 was to kill native plants that were impeding boating. Next year the treatment of milfoil and nuisance native plants may take place a the same time.

a.) Board comments and Questions - none

b.) Public Comments and Questions

Ron Moelker (South Franke) “How do you feel the treatment went? (To Nick and the Board) Agreement that it was not as effective in coves. Clipper had been effective in 2012, but was not used in 2013 Clipper is expensive and it was felt Aquathol alone would work. It didn't. Next year the Clipper/Aquathol combo may be used again. Ron encouraged Board and consultants to keep accurate records of treatment plans so mistakes would be less likely in the future. Ron noted that coves were often 5-7 degrees warmer than main lake which created earlier and faster weed growth. Board should consider treating the coves earlier before weeds are ready to seed.

Doug Oosterbaan (South Franke) – Is DEQ harder to work with (in reference to delay in securing 2013 permits)? The request for field testing and desire to use chelated copper to kill algae in main lake slowed the process. Dave Foley asked that the difference between copper sulfate used from the 1960s through 1990s for swimmer's itch and chelated copper currently being used be explained. Mike Solomon replied. Copper sulfate leaves a copper residue on the lake bottom. Ron Moelker indicated that soil testing for South Franke indicated very little copper residue. RLS was asked to provide a written description of differences between Copper sulfate and chelated copper to be placed on the website.

Bob Garlough (Little Cove) Although spraying 6/21 looked thorough results were poor. This had been acknowledged in the earlier consultant's report and was remedied (hopefully) with 7/17 treatment. He wondered why LMIB was paying for 7/17 treatment because of the 80% guarantee. Solomon said guarantee covers only Eurasian water milfoil because that is the target plant was made only for milfoil.

Little Cove residents had inquired about paying for harvesting this summer. While it appears likely that navigation lanes out from docks will be clear the areas beyond that will be weed-choked. Harvesters only pickup what is on the lake bottom or above. To dig into the lake bottom is considered dredging and requires a DEQ permit.

Tom Jacobson – If contact knocks down plant and systemic chemical goes to roots, putting a contact on plant first or at the same time negates the systemic treatment. Jacobson was right in that assumption and that is why we use systemic, then after a period of time, a contact. As for weeds washed up on shore. Green plants are likely cut by motor propellers and brown have been killed by chemicals or are the plant dying at end of its growing season.

Pat McCormack – Though he lives in an area with few weeds, he appreciates how understanding those are living near weedy areas and must deal with weeds on a regular basis. Appreciates LMIB work.

CORRESPONDENCE: Naomi VanDricht expressed her concerns about the weed problem in Little Cove in a letter.

Mark Howie – In view of less than perfect treatment in coves this year, we need to take this as a lesson learned and document our work so it can be used for reference in future years. We need to document what we've learned for next year such as treating the coves earlier.
Sperry – Echoed Mark's sentiments about needing to improve our work in coves.
Shari - Hoping to hear in August 10 meeting that we have made solid progress in this year's weed control program.

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

Mike felt that having LMPOA and LMIB meetings on same day undermines need for LMPOA,but would do it if that what majority wanted.

The idea of moving off-season meetings from 3 PM to evening may help attendance and is worth trying.


Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting Minutes -- June 5, 2013

June 5, 2013 at 3 pm in the Cherry Grove Township Hall, 4830 E. M-55, Cadillac, Mi.

A. CALL TO ORDER – at 3:00 by chairperson Mike Solomon
B. ROLL CALL Present: Mike Solomon, Shari Spoelman, Alan Anderson, Sperry Claypool, Mark Howie
Excused: Dave Foley
Also present: Consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones, Restorative Lake Sciences, LLC
C. ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA: Solomon added 3A Harvesting and 2A Committee Appointment
D. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA. Unanimously approved.
E. APPROVAL OF May 1, 2013 minutes Motion by Spoelman, Second by Howie. Unanimously approved.
Bob Garlow, 133 Brandy Dr, Cost of harvesting requested for little cove.
Solomon responded that we will cover that later in the meeting.

1. Treasurer’s Report—Alan Anderson
We’re in good shape financially at this time of year with $226,152.61 blance as of 4/30/13.
Motion by Solomon, Second by Howie to accept Treasurer’s Report. Unanimously approved.
2. Roll of LMPA and update from 5/25 meeting
Tom Jacobson responded on behalf of the LMPOA. Small group in attendance. Questions and discussion about weeds and lake levels. Jacobson was nominated for and became President of the Lake Mitchell Property Owner’s Association. Sperry Claypool attended the meeting.
Tom Jacobson contact info: (231) 920-3598, thjsail@hotmail.com
2A. Committee Appointment: Chair Solomon appointed Alan Anderson and Sperry Claypool to a committee with Tom Jacobson to seek clarification on the role of the property owner’s association. It is also requested to look at the dates of the LMPOA with the intention of possibly finding a time when both organizations can meet on the same day. The purpose of the committee will be to clarify roles while seeking to increase communication for lake stakeholders.
3. Educational workshop
Solomon reported having a difficult time getting a response to a request to use the Carl T Johnson Center for the proposed educational open house on August 10. He will attempt one more time and inform the board. If the Johnson Center is unavailable, the event will be held at the Cherry Grove Township Hall.
Jermalowicz-Jones reported her desire to have interactive and “hands-on” learning modules.
It was also suggested to ask the DNR to be present (fisheries), MSU Extension (natural shorelines, native vegetation, etc, PLM and others.
Solomon appointed a committee to work on this: Spoelman, Foley, Howie, and JJJ.
3A Harvesting. Solomon reported resident Jim Vick requested harvesting in little cove. Expressed a willingness by some property owners to pay for it.
Jones explained the planned (weather permitting) timeline for lake survey and treatment. If lake is treated by June 21, harvest will be able to occur prior to July 4 (if residents are willing to pay for it.) It is important to wait 1-2 weeks after chemical treatment for no fragment risk before harvesting.
4. Consultant’s Report
On 2 June 2013 samples were collected for testing at SePro Lab. Because little evidence of Eurasian Water Milfoil was found, it was determined to wait to do the lake survey June 10 and 11. Survey crews will be using GPS and scanning technologies that will provide us with 3 maps of the lake: GPS points, polygons, and bio-volume. Maps should be available June 13 or 14. The survey will help us make the determination of where to do field testing. The DEQ is interested in this test and the results. Treatment is scheduled June 20 and 21. The plan is to have everyone up the night before to get an early start on the lake (to avoid wind).
a.) Board comments and Questions
Anderson – Do we know the results of just chemical treatment vs chemical treatment and harvesting? If not, why would we also harvest?
Consultant will look at old data. Harvesting has its limitations. The harvester cannot get in where the depth is 2’ or less.
More discussion about whether or not to harvest. Not sure there is sufficient benefit.
Will have more information after survey and treatment. Consultant will make recommendation at that time.
b.) Public Comments and Questions
Tom Jacobson: Will harvesting be limited to areas that have been treated?
Answer (consultant): Yes, only areas that have been chemically treated.



Anderson. Three attendees from public at this meeting – not a big turnout (In response to a comment that was provided at the previous meeting related to canceling meetings.)

K. CHAIRMAN COMMENTS (to include items that may need follow-up)
Solomon would like feedback about number of meetings and the necessity. Don’t want to have meetings unnecessarily because all members are busy.


Minutes respectfully submitted: Shari Spoelman, Vice-chair


Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting Minutes – May 1, 2013

B. ROLL CALL: Present: Mike Solomon, Shari Spoelamn, Alan Anderson, Sperry Claypool, Mark Howie, Dave Foley, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: none.
C. ADDITIONS TO AGENDA: 7. beetle delivery, 8. RLS survey
E. APPROVAL OF February 23, 2013 minutes: unanimous
1. Tom Jacobson wondered if 80% kill rate guarantee given by applicator could changed to 80% “drop rate” wherein plants would drop to bottom of lake within two weeks.
Response by Jones: Systemic treatments, which we use, kill plants' root system but take longer to drop plants. Contact herbicides work faster but do not kill roots allowing plant to regrow within a few weeks.

1. Treasurer’s Report: Current balance $226,741.
2. Recommendation from herbicide committee and recommended herbicides—Jones: LMIB sub committee along with Jones passed out “Recommended Milfoil Treatment Regime for 2013” sheet detailing three test areas each comprised of three 5-acre plots (one in north, one in south, and one in east side of lake) where chemicals Renovate OTF, Max G, and Navigate each would be applied in three different dosages. Total cost of this as part of 300 acres to be treated in main lake is $153,425.
3. Proposed lab testing of herbicides and genetic testing—Jones; SEPRO (chemical applicator) will sample plants from Lake Mitchell between May 9-13 and test these in a lab to determine effectiveness of chemicals with results returning in 2-5 months.
Motion: Made by Solomon; seconded by Howie that the LMIB accept recommendation by Jones to have SEPRO test Lake Mitchell hybrid Eurasian milfoil with proposed herbicides in different concentrations not to exceed a cost of $3000. Approved unanimously.
4. Budget adjustments for lab testing, hybrid testing. --Anderson
Motion: Made by Howie and seconded by Claypool to raise budget from $145,000 to $155,000 to treat main lake and raise budget for canal/coves from $14,000 to $16,000. Unanimously approved.
5. Consultant’s Report – Jones: Detailed treatment plan for 2013 and noted that high water and late spring may push dates of survey and treatment back approximately two weeks with survey occurring the first week of June and treatment coming the second week of June.
6. Loosestrife beetles will be delivered from the Kalamazoo Nature Center this summer.
7. A committee composed of Foley, Spoelman, and Anderson was appointed to fill out a survey os Jennifer's work with Restorative Lake Services (RLS).
a.) Board comments and Questions: None
b.) Public Comments and Questions:
Dick Walters – Concerned that 2012 canal treatments were ineffective. Jones pointed out that siltation was main problem and could at best only be minimized by repeated treatments. Best solution was probably aeration. Walters felt residents were unlikely to finance an aeration project. Jones noted she was exploring other options.
Pam McAfee – Asked about dragging the lake however the size of Mitchell and unlikelihood of obtaining DEQ approval made this unfeasible.
Pam McAfee asked if chelated copper was the same as copper sulfate. Was told that copper sulphate leaves a copper residue, but chelated copper which removes algae form milfoil plants is completely absorbed by the plant.
JoAnn Engels – Was concerned that LMIB aquatic plant plans always were stated in “planning for next year.” Jones responded that the chemical used on the major part of the lake was what she thought to be the best option for weed control, however, by testing other options and dosages, treatments in future years could be improved.,


J. Harry Engels raised two concerns 1. LMIB meeting dates keep changing through cancellations and additions of meetings and 2. The LMIB's refusal to attend association meetings.
K. Solomon's response: Special meetings are sometimes needed to meet legal requirements and to make decisions that must be made by certain dates (bids to applicators, selecting chemicals in time for applicators to have them ready). Meetings may be canceled if there is no items for the agenda or not enough members are available for a quorum. As for LMIB not attending Association meetings – Sperry Claypool the rep at large does attend and if more than three attended it could be considered a violation of open meetings act.

L. COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMENTS: Newsletter is ready and will be mailed about May 13 to comply with regulation that notification of chemical treatment(which is included in newsletter) is not posted later than 45 days before treatment.




Lake Mitchell Public Hearings -- February 23, 2013

Meeting called to order: 10:00 AM

Roll Call: Present – Mike Solomon. Alan Anderson, Dave Foley, Sperry Claypool, Shari Spoelman, Mark Howie with Jennifer Jermalwicz-Jones, our consultant from RLS, also in attendance. Absent: None.

Agenda: Approved unanimously.

Committee of Solomon,Howie, Anderson,and Jermalowicz formed to determine chemical applications and test plots to be used during summer 2013 application.

Solomon introduced Board members and consultant to the approximately 35 that were in attendance.

Treasurer's report: (Alan Anderson) Current balance is $226,000 of which approximately $145,000 will be spent on chemical application that will occur in June.

The Board hopes to accumulate a contingency fund not to exceed $100,000. The fund is currently about $60,000. Typically under the current assessment the Board collects about $196,000 annually and spends about$180,000, with about $145,000 going for chemical treatment. Last year was the first that chemical applicators were held to a 90% kill rate of vegetation. This eliminated expenses for re-treatment and chemical expenses dropped to $121,000. The recent presence of hybrid milfoil, which does not respond to doses of chemicals used in the past is expected to increase chemical costs with use of higher dosages and the purchase of more expensive chemicals.

Solomon explained the procedures and purpose of the public hearings: To determine the assessment that will be used from 2014-2016. Assessment period actually begins at start of fiscal year July 1, 2013. Those in assessment district will be assessed once a year on their summer taxes.

Public Hearing of Practicability

Jermalowicz- Jones presented a Power Point detailing the aquatic vegetation program used in Lake Mitchell in 2012 and the planned program for 2013.

Solomon reviewed the Board's Priority Goals for Aquatic Plant Control noting that the highest priority was to control the milfoil in the main lake and the second being the opening of navigation lanes in the coves. A lower priority was the clearing the weeds from the main areas of the coves but if property owners in those areas wanted to undertake large capital expenses such as laminar flow or dredging, the board would pay 10% of the cost.

Solomon then opened the hearing up for public input. The comments or questions are listed below along with the responses:

Jim Anderson, a member of the Lake Mitchell Improvement Property Owners Association, briefly summarized the findings of the survey distributed to the Lake Mitchell property owners.

2. Mark Bridgwater asked if the assessment was levied in the winter tax assessment as well as the summer tax?

Response: Solomon indicated the assessment was only levied during the summer tax.

1.Ron Klimp – Complimented Jenifer on her work and was impressed by her description of laminar flow process. Was interested in perhaps trying it in coves.

Response: Jermalowicz-Jones is currently testing laminar flow in 10 lakes and if results are good, it may be tried in Mitchell.

2. Tom Swartz – A trustee on Selma Township Board,he is involved in clean up of weeds in township parks and is supportive of the work the LMIB is doing.

Response: Alan Anderson noted that Selma Township pays an assessment on each of its three township parks and thanked Selma Township for their support..

3. Ron Moelker – Requested that details on the dosages, chemicals used, and where they are applied be put on the website.

Response: Solomon indicated that that information would be posted on the website.

4. Lee Aho – Concerned about the effect of the chemicals used on the lakes ecology - on swimmers, fish, and other living organisms.

Response: Jermalowicz-Jones noted that all chemicals and dosages must be approved by the EPA and the Michigan DEQ.

5. Mark Bridgewater – Interested in laminar flow and wondered if grants were available.

Response: Jermalowicz-Jones explained that grants were hard to get for projects of this nature, but she would watch for opportunities.

Dave Foley read letters from Joesph Smith, Bob Martin, David Kistler, and Terry Saarela, all of whom had concerns about the lake board's aquatic weed control program and questioned the need either for assessments or raising the existing one.

Mary and Jean Keith sent a letter supporting the assessment.

Motion made to proceed with Improvements to Lake Mitchell made by Shari Spoelman and seconded by Dave Foley. Motion was passed unanimously.

Review of Appropriations Hearing

Presentation of Special Assessments Rolls – No written requests had been made and none in the audience came forward with concerns about their assessment so the rolls were accepted as presented.

Solomon then opened the hearing and the following comments were made:

1. Bob Miller -Could LMIB consider having townships or county conduct a millage vote to procure funds for aquatic weed control?

Response: Solomon- This would be something the Lake Mitchell Property Owners Association (LMPOA) could take on as a project.

2nd response: Jim Kenyon - The county has enough millages currently and would like to eliminate a few of what they have.

2. Ron Moelker asked for clarification number of chemical applications in coves.

Response: Solomon - One treatment is programmed. An additional treatment depends on need and budget.

3. Ron Klimp – Do higher assessments mean more attention for coves?

Response: Solomon – No. For extra work LMIB will pay 10% of large capital expenses such as laminar flow aeration or dredging with property owners paying the rest. If cove property owners are interested in improvements and contact the Lake Mitchell Improvement Board, the Board will consent to 10% financial support.

4. Kathy Swiger – What level of (one unit)assessment would be needed to handle proposed program - $275, $300, $326.

Response: Anderson – If we have a contingency of $100,000 and are able to stay within our budget, we will not collect all of our allotted assessment or lower the assessment.

5. Jim Mills – Will the weed growth budgeted amount of $145,000 come out of new assessment or this year's budget?

Response: Anderson – Our fiscal year ends on June 30 and that money will be spent prior to that so the new assessment will cover expenses incurred after 6/30/13.

6. Rod Bellows – Appreciates the work the board has done and believes the lake is good shape. He favors an assessment of $300 for lakefront lots (one unit).

7. Bob Miller – Have you considered a vacuum system?

Jermalowicz-Jones – The Aqua Vac system has not been approved by DEQ.

8. Theron Parker – Vouched for effectiveness of vacuums system.


Discussion of the amount to be assessed by LMIB members:

Spoelman – In talking with people there was support for increasing assessment to insure necessary treatment can be done. The results of LMPOA survey bear this out.

Willing to support assessment of $300.

Anderson –The survey had 114 responses about assessments out of 142 surveys returned However, there were 602 mailings sent out and it is difficult to know what property owners want if they do not respond when requested.

Anderson – We need to know what to expect for our money and how effective chemicals will be on hybrid.

Solomon put a table on the board showing years and amount of acreage treated for milfoil: 2009 – 380 acres, 2010 – 357 acres, 2011 – 295 acres, 2012 – 265 acres.

Howie – We should ask for an increase with the understanding that if weed control is achieved we will not collect the assessment.

Claypool – Often those who don't respond are satisfied. Assessment should be lowered if a surplus beyond $100,000 occurs.

Motion made by Foley and seconded by Claypool to set one unit assessment at $300 for 2014-2016 which will yield approximately $208,200 annually. Motion was passed unanimously. Pursuant to applicable law, the special assessments will be collected commencing with the summer 2013 property tax.

Next meeting will be April 15, 2013.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20 PM

Minutes submitted by Dave Foley

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting -- February 18, 2013

Call to Order: 4:00

Roll Call: Present: Sperry Claypool, Dave Foley, Mark Howie, Mike Solomon, Shari Spoelman, Alan Anderson, RSI consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz. Absent: none.

Approval of Agenda: addition of “treasurer's report” and deletion of “Length of Assessment period” which had been confirmed earlier as three years.

Treasurer's Report: Alan Anderson reported that current balance is $226,303.81.

Public Comments: none

Agenda items:

1. Election of officers: All ran unopposed and were appointed to serve for 2013. Chairperson; Mike Solomon, Vice-chairperson, Shari Spoelman, Treasurer Alan Anderson, Secretary Dave Foley.

2. Herbicide bids: Original bids were rewritten as addendum bids showing breakdown of chemicals, doses, and cost for 80%, 90%, and 100% kill rate treated plants.

After discussion a motion was made by Mark Howie and seconded by Sperry Claypool designating Professional Lake Management (PLM) as our applicator and listing a specific combination and dosage of of Renovate, 2-4D, and Triple Play. Further discussion raised concerns about being so precise in our directive without having input from the chemical applicator and our consultant. The motion was defeated.

Howie then placed forward a second motion that was seconded by Claypool.

This Motion designated PLM as our applicator and accepted their bid of 90% kill rate and directed that the precise chemicals to be used be determined by our consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz of RSI and the PLM applicator as long as it doesn't exceed $145,000 which is consistent with our budget. The motion received unanimous support.

The public Hearing will be held Feb. 23 at 10AM at the Cherry Grove Township Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 PM.

Minutes submitted by Dave Foley

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board Meeting -- January 16, 2013

Call to Order: 11:06
Roll Call: Present - Solomon, Howie, Anderson, Claypool, Foley, and Jermalowicz-Jones RSI consultant. Absent - Spoelman.
Additions/Deletions: None
Approval of Agenda: Unanimous
Approval of November 1 minutes: Unanimous
Public Comments: None

Agenda items:
1. Review of LMPOA survey - Discussion was held on responses to LMPOA survey. Survey results will appear on website this spring.
2. Herbicide applicator proposals - Proposals that were received from Professional Lake Management (PLM), Aquatic Services Inc. (ASI), and A & T Services were evaluated by Solomon and Jermalowicz-Jones. Treatments that had been proved unsuccessful on Lake Mitchell were discarded and three herbicide proposals were developed. These will be resubmitted to the three applicators. At the next meeting a weed control program for 2013 will be selected.
Once a bid and herbicide plan has been selected, a determination will be made on the assessment rate to be presented at 2/23 public hearing.
3. Length of assessment - The number of years of the next assessment period will be determined at the next meeting.
4. Next meeting will be February 18 at 4 PM at the Cherry Grove Township Hall.

Meeting adjourned at 12:25.

Minutes submitted by Dave Foley

Lake Mitchell Improvement Board meeting minutes - January 10,2013

A. Call to Worship: 3:00 PM

B. Roll Call: Present: Solomon,Claypool, Howie, Spoelman, Anderson, Foley and consultant Jermalowicz-Jones. Absent: none.

C. Additions/Deletions to Agenda: F. Review of shoreline pickup contract.

D. Approval of November 1 meeting minutes: Unanimous

E. Public Comments: None

G. Agenda items:
1. Treasurer's report (Anderson): Current balance is $229,204.82 which should be sufficient until end of current fiscal year in June.
2. New Business
A. Addresses of Mitchell condos to Equalization office (Foley) - Equalization has been contacted and is aware of the six occupied units.
B. Invoice approval process (Anderson) - Alan Anderson developed an invoice approval process wherein invoices are submitted to Cherry Grove Treasurer (Nixon), Consultant( if applicable)Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones, and treasurer Alan Anderson.
Motion to approve this process made by Solomon, seconded by Claypool and approved unanimously.
C. Results of Lake Mitchell Association survey - Tom Jacobson summarized results of survey sent to all (602) in Lake Mitchell assessment district of which 50 were returned unopened, 410 did not respond and 142 responded. Weeds in lake were 1# concern.
Pam Anderson noted that there is confusion between role of the Lake Mitchell Association and Improvement Board. Foley said he would try to develop clearer explanations for website and newsletter.
D. Meeting dates for 2013 (Foley): The following meeting dates were approved for 2013: 4/5 @ 3PM, 6/5@ 3PM, 7/20 @10AM, 8/10 @ 10AM, 10/14 @ 10AM, 1/13/14 @ 10AM.
E. USFS critical dates for loosestrife beetles (Foley) - contract w/ USFS expires in May. Jermalowicz-Jones will see about getting it extended for purchase of loosestrife beetles. Money will not be sought for milfoil weevil planting as that has proved unsuccessful.
F. Roadside Pickup (Foley) - Alan Anderson suggested that we extend roadside pickup through September 15 and offer Paul McDonald an additional $250 for a total annual payout of $7500. McDonald will work in 2013 from May 20th through September 15th. Foley will check w/McDonald to see if this arrangement is okay with him. Motion made by Spoelman and seconded by Anderson to extend this offer to McDonald.
3. Consultant's Report (Jermalowicz-Jones)
Jermalowicz-Jones has formed her own company, Restorative Lake Sciences, LLC.
Solomon asked to be allowed not to vote on renewal of Jermalowicz-Jones contract due to potential conflict of interest. Motion by Howie, seconded by Spoelman to allow Solomon not to vote due to potential conflict of interest. Unanimous approval. Motion made by Foley seconded by Claypool to approve Jermalowicz-Jones contract at same total cost as 2012 contract. Approved by all (Solomon not voting.)
A. Herbicide Contract -Bids were received by Professional Lake Management (PLM), Aquatic Services Inc. (ASI), and A&T LLC. ASI and A&T guaranteed 80% die off rate PLM set their die off rate at 90%. If that rate is not achieved, re-treatment of living plants will be at no charge.
Because hybrid milfoil is a relatively new phenomena and hybrid plants are less effected by traditional chemical dosages, the applicators are offering a variety of treatment options. This makes it difficult for the board to make a decision since they feel it is vital to have the most successful results come from the first application. It was decided to form a committee comprised of Howie, Solomon, and Jermalowicz-Jones to take a closer look at the treatment options and make a recommendation and present it to LMIB for action at the next meeting.
Foley asked for assurance that all chemical options being considered be proven not to damage lake ecology. He did not want Mitchell to be used as a site for a chemical experiment. Jermalowicz-Jones assured Foley that all chemical mixtures being considered were approved by DEQ.
B. 2012 Annual Report (Jermalowicz-Jones) Highlights of Jermalowicz-Jones's annual report:
1. 239 acres of hybrid Eurasian milfoil (HWM) were treated on 6/13/12.
2. 53 acres retreated along with 15 new acres of HWM in August.
3. 25 acres treated in coves and canal on 6/11/12
4. Galerucella beetles planted in coves to eat invasive loosestrife plants.
5. The milfoil-eating weevils that had been planted in Big Cove in 2009 have underachieved and project will be discontinued.
6. Water clarity has improved but nutrient levels are in eutrophic range for entire lake.
7. Lake Mitchell has 27 native species of aquatic plants. The diversity is good but some species are becoming a nuisance.
8. A local riparian workshop for the public is planned for 2013.
Board questions and public comments:
Foley ( and Bob Salay) are concerned about increased amount of silt on the lake bottom which is allowing weeds to grow in more areas. At some point a plan needs to be developed to remove or decrease the buildup of this matter. Aeration systems being tested on ten lakes under the direction of Jermalowicz-Jones may yield results encouraging enough to bring this system to Lake Mitchell. Salay would like to see dredging receive consideration.
C. Schedule for public hearings (Solomon)
The first pubic hearing is scheduled for February 23rd at 10 AM at the Cherry Grove Township Hall.
H. Correspondence: none
I. Public Comments:
Tom Jacobson reiterated that the Association is most concerned about the weed problem and hoped that the LMIB would succeed in their aquatic plant control program.
J. Committee comments
Foley noted that the annual newsletter and website content for 2013 is being developed and welcomed ideas for these publications.
K. Chairman comments:
Solomon thanked the Board for all their hard work and dedication and welcomed Mark Howie, representing the County Commission, to the Board.
L. Adjournment: 4:42 PM