Board Meetings

Minutes of Lovells Township Feb 13, 2024 Board APPROVED

Regular Meeting of the Lovells Township Board

February 13, 2024


PRESENT:  Cheryl Hopp, Heather Lovell, Ken Ball, Tamara Kengel

ABSENT:  Gary A. Neumann (illness)

ALSO PRESENT  Dave Soderquist, Jo Johnson, Ann C Duby, Carla Mercer, Sally Brand, Sheriff Ryan Swope, Allen Cail, Randy Long, Nadine Fortier.

Clerk Ball in the absence of Supervisor Neumann called the Board Meeting to order at 10:02AM   followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Ball explain Neumann’s absence due to illness and inquired for a volunteer among the board to moderate the meeting.  There being no volunteers it was suggested that the Clerk serve in this capacity and he so agreed. Treasurer Kengel volunteered to take notes for the meeting and this was agreed.

The Regular Meeting was motioned by Ball, support by Kengel to recess and begin a Public Hearing on the proposed budgets for the General Fund and Liquor Fund. Voice Vote: All Ayes Ball explained the line item differences in the budgets from the Draft from the working session in January to line Items 191-702, 215-702, 215-703 and 253-702 which total a $1,800 increase.  Ball also explained the Liquor Fund scenario with declining state support and inflationary increase in salary and that a surplus would still be maintained due to an earlier approved “plus-up” of $600.00 of that fund from the General.  Dave Soderquist asked regarding Deputy Duties and it was explained that those hours are at the direction of the elected/appointed officer.  Sheriff Swope offered a trained Liquor Inspector, should we need one.  There being no other Public Comment the Public Hearing was closed at 10:08

Lovell Moved, Supported by Hopp to accept the FY2024-25 General Fund Budget as presented.  In a Roll Call Vote All Ayes

Lovell Moved, Supported by Hopp to accept the FY2024-25 Liquor Fund Budget as presented.  In a Roll Call Vote All Ayes

Clerk Ball then entered a discussion on Salary Resolutions for the Lovells Township Elected Officers, the basis for increase (3.2% Federal COLA) and that we would not have a reading or vote on the Clerk Resolution until after the Primary Election Cycle was concluded and we understood the additional duties that Proposition 2 has imposed on that office.

Salary Resolution #2-13-2024B was read for $19,883.61 for the Office of Supervisor.  Motion by Lovell, Supported by Hopp to accept. Roll Call Vote, all Ayes- Resolution #2-13-2024B is adopted.

Salary Resolution #2-13-2024C was read for $19,984.32 for the Office of Treasurer.  Motion by Lovell, Supported by Hopp to accept. Roll Call Vote, all Ayes- Resolution #2-13-2024C is adopted.

Salary Resolution #2-13-2024D was read for $2464.56 for the Office of Trustee.  Motion by Kengel, Supported by Ball to accept. Roll Call Vote, all Ayes- Resolution #2-13-2024D is adopted.


Reading and approval of the minutes of our Regular Board Meeting January 9, 2024.  Hopp moved to accept the minutes from January 9 2024 as presented, Lovell supported.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED

PRE-PAID VOUCHERS:            Lovell Moved, Hopp supported a motion to approve pre-paid vouchers From January 5, 2024 through February 7, 2024 as presented:  General Fund totaling $20,867.16 Direct Deposit Checks totaling $5,174.98; Fire Fund totaling $21,822.79; Landfill Fund totaling $6,531.57; and Liquor Fund totaling $11.70.  Exceptional items include: Payment of Taxes withheld from Cynthia Infante-Inman pension payout, Payment to Jack Milliken for Excavator services (covered by an insurance payment for the Fruit Farm Road Explosion), EPS Security for the new Recorder, Required DOT Maintenance for Fire Vehicles and Pagers and Radio accessories for the Fire Dept In a roll call vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer’s January Report Received and Accepted as Presented.



Assessing- Notices are out and we expect the bill to arrive shortly for this service.

Fire/EMS Department –3 Fire Runs and 7 Medical runs in January 2024.

Cemetery Sexton- No Activity

Liquor Inspector- 3 Inspections, no issues noted

Zoning Administrator – No Permits Issued

Zoning Enforcement Officer- No Report


Parks and Rec- Covered in Info Items.

Board of Review – -Board of Review – Training was held on 2/7/2024, Organizational Metting to be held 3/5/2024 at 3:00 PM

Public Meetings: 3/11/2024 from 9AM-3PM and 3/13/2024 from 3PM-9PM. 

All meetings to be held at the Township Hall


Historical Society – The planning of Activities for Trout Opener (Leaky Wader Run, Craft Show) is on track.  The LTHS is considering bringing back Beavers, Beer and Banjos.  The Riverside Tavern is keen to cooperate, but finding musical acts may present a challenge.  Hot Stove 3/28 is cancelled in deference to the Mason-Griffiths TU Banquet being held on the same evening. 4/4 Hot Stove will feature Frederic Fire/EMS with Information on what to do when you need to call 911.  It was suggested and agreed to provide extra marketing for this event to engage the community.

Crawford County Planning Commission (CCPC)No Report

Lovells Township Planning Commission (LTPC) –

  • Held two special mtgs 1/11 and 1/22 and approved, with conditions, the STR application rehearing for the Mosser property on Twin Bridge Road.
  • Submitted a proposed light trespass Zoning Ordinance to the Township attorney for formatting and legal language corrections.
  • Reviewed the proposed STR license ordinance with the Township attorney and submitted for formatting legal language corrections
  • Next scheduled meeting is April 8th


Zoning Board of Appeals – Public Hearing on Miller Case will be held 3/2/2024 at 11AM at the Township Hall

Lovells Media and Reading Center – New donations to the library of a series of books was noted., Book boxes continue to be used. There is a need for a replacement shelf and that has been accounted for in the upcoming budget.


  • STR Licensing Ordinance Update. We have received, very recently an early draft from the Township attorney.  We will review the document to assess how well it reflects the wishes of the board and community.  Expect this to be a repetitive process as the details and legal language are finalized.  Experience says this may take a few rounds with the attorney.



  • New Business:
  1. A Special Meeting of the Board to close out FY ’23-24 Budgets and adopt payment schedules (Fees/Salaries/Wages) for FY ’25-25. Will be held. Suggested date of March 28, 2024 subject to Board members availability.
  2. Request for reimbursement ($311.19) for a damaged tire which is claimed to have occurred due to nails present at the South Transfer Station on 1/2/2024. Discussion ensued regarding the claim and lack of supporting evidence that the damage had occurred at the transfer station other than the claimant’s statement to that effect.  Ball motioned to consider the request, there was no support, so the motion failed.
  3. Kengel presented options for replacing the wooded seat chairs in the township hall with newly purchased ones leveraging ARPA funding (Covid-Bucks). She presented some pricing options from Staples (Mi Deal Vendor), Office Depot and U-Line.  U-Line had the best price and shipping could be combined with a desired covered trash receptacle for Cross Roads Park.  Question was made regarding personnel to administer the trash receptacle and it was conveyed that we did have a scheme in place. It was indicated that we would offer for sale the chairs to be replaced for $5 each to the community.  Lovell asked if the LTHS could be first in line if the new chairs would not be available for “off-site” events.  Discussion was that we would not be amenable to the new chairs leaving the facility to protect this investment.  Ball expressed a desire to sell many chairs to few purchasers, rather than few chairs at a time to many purchasers.  Based on community input, it was decided to offer the chairs to any community organization and not give a preference to a particular group.  Also, it was suggested that we investigate “club pricing” (e.g. Sam’s, Costco) to make sure that U-line was in fact the best value.  Kengel and Ball will do that homework and the vote to purchase chairs and the trash receptacle is tabled pending this study

Motion by Kengel, supported by Lovell to set a price of $5 per chair for community organizations who wish to purchase first, and then the community at large.  Voice Vote: All Ayes.

  1. Follow-up on 11/4/2023 decision to move our email/web address to the “.gov” domain. What should our name be:,,,, etc.  After discussion and community input it was decided that to balance length of name and specificity for our community that the name gov was preferred.  Kengel moved, Hopp supported to register our new domain name as  Voice Vote, All Ayes, Motion carried and the Clerk will proceed thusly.




  • Informational Items
  • Township will Host Presidential Primary Election, Tuesday Feb 27th, early voting is available in Grayling at the County Building starting Feb 17th. Deputy Clerk Lovell informed that due to the confusing layout of the Absentee Ballot application, that voters who wish to be on the Permanent Absentee Ballot list (receiving an Absentee Ballot automatically without further need for an application) should inform her.  There is a box on this year’s application but it is not well done and we wish to capture our voter’s intent accurately.
  • Minutes of the 1/16/2024 meeting of the Parks and Rec. Committee were summarized and will be posted.
    1. The 501(c )3 name was chosen to be Friends of Lovells Parks for brevity and consistency with the Fire/EMS Friends naming.
    2. 2024 meeting dates will be given to clerk for annual posting.
    3. Michael Thomas will meet with Ken in March/April time at convenience to set up 501 (c) 3 and we may need a CPA involved to cover the tax implications.
    4. Mission statement- has been developed (this is required for the 501(c)3 filing.
    5. Memorial brick engraving purchase has been made for the first tranche of bricks that were sold.
    6. Next scheduled meeting is March 18, 2024
    7. Recommends purchase of a “beauty trash can” for Crossroads Park


  • Petitions for Township Offices for the August Primary are due to the Clerk by end of March. Petitions and Affidavits of Identity are available at the Clerk’s office during regular business hours.  Note all Elected Offices are up in 2024 and there are several “open” positions on the board.


Regular Business closed at 11:13


Nadine Fortier asked regarding PRE for Winter/Summer Taxes.  Kengel explain the split in collecting agencies (that Lovells collects for) and how PRE is allocated.  She also enquired regarding damage which was inflicted on her car traveling Crapo Lake Road (Otsego) and who she should contact as the Otsego County Road Commission was silent.  We had no recommendation but perhaps Sherriff Swope did.

Dave Soderquist commented that he felt replacing of the aged chairs was a good idea and that making sure that our website and email were “connected”, meaning both using “.gov” the preferred way to proceed.  He also mentioned his concern given the aging population, with higher medical needs that perhaps a different mode of providing EMT service rather than relying on Frederic and South Branch (MMR) should be considered.  Carla Mercer explained that due to the Lovells Fire/EMS licensure level with the state, that even fully qualified EMTs, which we have on staff, can only provide Medical First Responder level aid.  We expressed that we have as Township Leadership recognized and discussed the issue but it is not something we can implement without adding tax support to do so.  As such it would be up to the voters to advance any changes.

Jo Johnson inquired when the community would see the Township attorney’s work product on the STR ordinance.  We will post the early draft once board members have had a chance to review an give the attorney some feedback on his early draft.

Randy Long expressed that Bridge walk is still a good option to address underfunded needs for the Fire/EMS Department.  It was explained that Bridge Walk funds were an important part of the funding matrix for the new radios and pagers and that we appreciate and will continue to utilize that source for future needs.

Sheriff Swope was checking in and giving statistics on the County Sheriff’s Department’s calls for 2023.  He will provide a summary to us, but of the 3,611 “contacts” the Sheriff’s Department had in Crawford Lovells had only 147.  Grayling Township “won” that derby.    The Sheriff’s Dept. will be providing support on Election Days and Early Voting.  Expect some millage requests for Midnight Patrol/ SRO/STING programs during later elections so officers will have to support “at distance” during those elections.  Crawford County is looking for recruits via Facebook to become deputies and will sponsor their training. The Sheriff explained that on this date February 13, one of the new laws that took effect was a “Red-Flag law that allows for removal of firearms from citizens deemed “a danger”.  While the deputies have received some guidance in this new law, others such as Judges have not.  He expresses that the last thing they want to do is have firearms taken away from citizens without due process.

End of Public Comment @ 11:49

  • Motion to Adjourn by Ball, Support by Lovell, Motion Carried by Voice Vote

Meeting Adjourned at 11:49

Next Regular Meeting of Lovells Township Board will be held Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 10:00 AM at this location.



Respectfully Submitted,


Kenneth F. Ball

Lovells Township Clerk