Board Meetings

Minutes, April 9 2024 Regular Board Meeting

Approved May 14, 2024

Regular Meeting of the Lovells Township Board

April 9, 2024


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

INVITED GUEST:  Chief Lewicki


ALSO PRESENT  Dave Soderquist, Jo Johnson, Ann C Duby, Joan Petroff, Sally Brand, Taylor Stiles , Glen Eberly, Martha Eberly, Jim Shiflett, Jack Potts, Pam Potts, Allen Cail, Mike Mosser, Jenna Mosser, Neil Wallace.

Supervisor Neumann called the Board Meeting to order at 10:00AM   followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Reading and approval of the minutes of our Regular Board Meeting March 12, 2024 and the Special Board Meeting  (Close Out) of March 28. Clerk Ball noted a correction to the date of Beaver, Beer and Banjos in the March 12 Regular Meeting. Neumann moved to accept the minutes from both March meetings as corrected, Lovell supported.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED

PRE-PAID VOUCHERS:            Neumann moved, Hopp supported a motion to approve pre-paid vouchers From March 6, 2024 through April 3, 2024 as presented:  General Fund totaling $40,414.89 Direct Deposit Checks totaling $3190.16; Fire Fund totaling $40,890.44; Landfill Fund totaling $77,517.05; and Liquor Fund totaling $1,529.06.  As part of this presentation noted the transfer of funds from the Tax Account to the General Fund and then subsequent dispersal of funds collected for Fire/EMS and Landfill operations from the General Fund to these funds.  The Liquor Fund was transferred the interest earned on the Tax Account to keep this fund whole in light of declining state payments.  Clerk also noted several large annual bills (such as our insurance payments) which were paid in this time frame.  Neumann moved and Hopp Supported to accept the pre-Paids as presented. In a roll call vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED.

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer’s March Report was Received Neumann moved Lovell supported and, in a voice, vote it was Accepted as Presented.

Clerk’s Quarterly Profit and Loss  Report:  The Clerk’s 1Q2024 Report was Received Neumann moved Lovell supported and, in a voice, vote it was Accepted as Presented.

CORRESPONDENCE:   We received notification from the Township’s Attorneys of a fee increase to $175 per billable hour commencing April 1, 2024


Crawford County Planning Commission (CCPC)No Report

Lovells Township Planning Commission (LTPC) – The Planning Commission held a meeting on the proposed lighting ordinance to develop the townships desires.  It has been forward to the attorney.

Assessing- Covered under Board of Review

Fire/EMS Department – 3 Fire Runs and 9 Medical runs in February 2024.  Fires included an “open burn,” a mutual aid run for a gas/oil facility in Otsego County (recalled) and a chimney fire locally.

Cemetery Sexton- Cemetery is now open.  A spring “clean-up” is planned.

Liquor Inspector- 3 Inspections, no issues noted

Zoning Administrator – 3 permits issued, I Pole Barn, 1 Cabin, 1 Deck

Zoning Enforcement Officer- The activity on the east side Welch Trail is now happening under permit.


Parks and Rec- The committee is currently doing research on material for the development of the park and is planning a “walkthrough” on April 12, 2024 to facilitate the sketching for placement of the various elements.  10 Norway Spruce have been donated.  The committee has established an email account to facilitate ideas and signing up to volunteer for construction/development labor.  The committee is also currently developing by-laws for the 501c3 filing.

Historical Society – A number of activities are in the planning stages for Spring/Summer.

  • Beaver, Beer and Banjos is BACK ! The new ownership of the Lovells Riverside Tavern has agreed to help bring this festival back on July 20,   A bluegrass band has been identified to provide the entertainment.  Stand by for more news.
  • Opening Day activities are in the works ! This includes the annual Leaky Wader Run and a Concert at the North Branch Outing Club.  The concert is attendance limited and tickets are available in advance for $15.00.  The proceeds from the concert are split with the LTHS.


Board of Review- Successful two sessions of Board of Review were held.  There were not an overwhelming number of cases and they were mostly regarding Taxable Value increases, the basis of which are mandated by a State of Michigan formula, which is not subject to appeal.

Zoning Board of Appeals –Miller Case was finalized with the County Soil and Erosion expert Paul Olmsted  marking the offsets on the bluff so as to facilitate a compliant structure being built.


Lovells Media and Reading Center – New Shelving unit has been ordered and the library is working with Township Maintenance to build replacement wooden “end caps” for non-cataloged books.


  1. Short Term Rental “Police Power” Ordinance Development: Supervisor Neumann began the discussion by acknowledging the work done so far over a 6-7 month time frame to develop a new method of regulating Short Term Rentals in Lovells Township as our existing method, through a Zoning Ordinance/ Special Use Permit scheme, has fallen out of favor according to our attorney and stand-alone “Police Power” ordinances are now the preferred method. He also acknowledged the divisive nature of the subject within the community.  The session was to provide an update on where the township is at regarding development of the ordinance after the last round of revisions and questions with the township attorney.  The salient points that remain to be finalized per Lovells Township current position are as follows:
    1. Specific definition regarding having no more than one rental unit per parcel needs revision.
    2. The addition of a lighting stipulation (e lighting trespass ban) in the STR ordinance that would be parallel to the proposed lighting zoning ordinance, but could be applied to existing structures should occur.
    3. The means of transitioning from the SUP scheme to the PPO scheme, as well as the annual fees and job specifications for the STR Administrator, who is mentioned in the PPO need to be developed.

There was spirited discussion from both view points on the STR subject by community members.  The township’s hands are tied regarding treating STR as “commercial” enterprises due to the overriding position of the State of Michigan that STRs are not “commercial.”  The township acknowledges that the original intent of STRs being a method to keep properties in familiar hands has morphed into more commercial like activities, but the state does not currently share that awareness through policy.  Also brought up was whether the Natural Rivers Act definition of a “dwelling unit” as being not more than three bedrooms still applied, even if a township has taken on NRA enforcement from the Michigan DNR.  That specific question as well as a general review of the proposed ordinance from a NRA perspective will be requested of the MDNR.  The proposed limitations of bedrooms and occupancy numbers were also the subject of much comment as well as the use of advertisement auditing to enforce the ordinance against non-compliant renters.  All of this feedback will be considered as we further develop the townships methodology.

The proposed ordinance not being yet in final form, will be addressed again at future Board Meetings.



  • New Business:
  1. Chief Lewicki presented a proposed contract for new hires for the Fire and EMS that is intended to discourage new hires from “jumping ship” once Lovells pays for their training hours. Our past policy is to pay 100% of the training stipend once the new-hire has passed certification and milage for training on an ongoing basis.  It was noted that in the past some would leave Lovells shortly after being paid the training stipend.  The proposal is to now pay the mileage as we have, covering a trainee’s out of pocket cost, and split the training stipend into three tranches, paid at certification, at one year and two years of satisfactory attendance.  Neumann Moved, Ball supported to authorize the use of the proposed contract.  In a voice vote, All Ayes, Motion is Passed.
  2. Supervisor Neumann proposed that Steve Johnson (Alternate) and Richard Perry (Member) to three years terms, ending 4/1/2027 for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Lovells Supported.  In a voice vote, all Ayes, the nominations are approved.




  • Informational Items


  • Petitions for Township Offices for the August Primary are due to the Clerk very soon to meet the April deadline. Petitions and Affidavits of Identity are available at the Clerk’s office during regular business hours.  Note, we currently do not have candidates’ petitions turned into the Township Clerk for the positions of Supervisor or Clerk. Filings directly to the county are unknown to us.


Regular Business closed at 11:35



End of Public Comment @ 11:36

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

Meeting Adjourned at 11:36

Next Regular Meeting of Lovells Township Board will be held Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 10:00 AM at this location.



Respectfully Submitted,


Kenneth F. Ball

Lovells Township Clerk