Board Meetings

****Approved Minutes, November 14, 2023 Regular Board Meeting of Lovells Township****


Regular Meeting of the Lovells Township Board

November 14, 2023


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


ALSO PRESENT  Dave Soderquist, Jo Johnson, Suzi Moore, Ann C Duby, Darren Slupka, Matt Dingel, Randy Long.

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 October 10, 2023.  No Questions/Comments. Neumann moved to accept the minutes from October 10 as provided, Hopp supported.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED

PRE-PAID VOUCHERS:            Neumann moved, Lovell supported a motion to approve pre-paid vouchers From October 6, 2023 through November 9, 2023 as presented:  General Fund totaling $12,313.25 Direct Deposit Checks totaling $6500.72; Fire Fund totaling $15,664.66; Landfill Fund totaling $12,145.65; and Liquor Fund totaling $82.20.  Exceptional Items noted were a large expense for repairs to the “Pump Hauler” Truck, payment for Matt Mercer for training hours upon completion of his EMT Certification (Congratulations Matt!), Fire/EMS Radio Templates for the new 911 Dispatch System, GIS Mapping Share from Crawford County, and legal fees regarding the STR Licensing and Circuit Court Actions.   In a roll call vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED.

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



Assessing- None Noted

Fire/EMS Department –  1 Fire Run (extended run), 8 Medical Runs for October, Two new crew signed up. Matt Mercer completed EMT training and is now certified by the State of Michigan.

Cemetery Sexton- 1 Cremains Internment

Liquor Inspector- 3 Inspections, No issues noted

Zoning Administrator – 3 Permit Issued concerning multiple decks at the Motel, a deck at a residence and a carport.

Zoning Enforcement Officer- The trees cut in the “green belt” were determined to be dead and thus no violation was made.


Parks and Rec- The Parks and Rec Committee is in favor of forming a 501 c3 to encourage donations and act much like the “Friends of Lovells Fire / EMS” in support of Township Recreational Facilities.  The cost to file with the IRS is $300 for a $9,999 or less of annual budgeted activities or $750 for $10,000 or more in budgeted activities.  Legal Work Fees will be donated by committee member Mike Thomas, filing support/advice to be provided by the Township Clerk.  The committee is also considering establishing a web and social media presence to enhance public awareness of their activities.

Board of Review – A December 2023 BOR is not necessary currently

Historical Society – Activities are in the “quiet” season.  Next season’s focus to be on Cold Water Conservation and displays are in the planning phase.  There is consideration to upgrades to the schoolhouse lighting system to make that space more inviting.  New Member Lyle Kerns has joined next season and there is still room for more members.  Heather Lovell has resigned her LTHS Board Seat but will retain liaison activity with the Lovells Township Board.

Crawford County Planning Commission (CCPC)No Report

Lovells Township Planning Commission (LTPC) – The Planning Commission has been working to gather community input regarding the STR stand-alone ordinance.     Rehearing date on the recently denied STR application, per Circuit Court order, is still pending.

Zoning Board of Appeals – A hearing regarding a proposed home in Warblers Hideaway regarding minimum set back form Big Creek has been applied for, but payment not been made.

Lovells Media and Reading Center –Book Boxes are remaining popular.  Some weather-related issues with the boxes have been noted and our maintenance person has been asked to help support.


  • STR Licensing Ordinance Supervisor Neumann went over the model STR ordinance and certain changes being suggested to make it more applicable to Lovells Township. Many sections are generic and good as they are but we are working on tailoring the Definitions, removing references to Zoning Administrator (we will likely have a dedicated office, paid for by license fees) and a host of features that we believe help keep the “character of the Lovells Community” intact, including but not limited to:
    • No Advertising on the property
    • No large outdoor events whose participation exceeds the rental occupancy limit.
    • No fireworks at all
    • Outdoor fires to be maintained according to DNR guidelines
    • Outdoor fires to be confined to owner specified locations for fire rings
    • No “Light Trespass” onto adjoining properties

Other issues and suggestions from the public will be incorporated into this framework document.  Treasurer and Planning Commission Member Kengel emphasized that this is a work in progress.  Clerk Ball emphasized that the resulting product must be enforceable for violations with consequences (e.g., denial of relicense) for repeated violations of the provisions of the license.  Trustee Lovell requested a special meeting be called to seek further input on this ordinance. (Note: there are issues, that while the populace may wish to incorporate in this ordinance, will not pass legal muster, so we continue to work with our lawyers to produce a legally sound work product.)


  • New Business:
  1. Advisability of renewing as a member of NEMCOG (NE Michigan Council of Governments). NEMCOG Annual Membership was billed for $721 was billed. Discussion on why we had a membership last year (creation of Rec Plan and Township Plan) and that we would not likely need these services for several years.  Much of what NEMCOG does is redundant to MTA membership and does not have certain services (notably legal advice).  Neumann moved, Hopp supported, to not join NEMCOG for 2024.  In a voice vote 4 Ayes, one Nay, Motion Carried.  NEMCOG will be informed of our decision.
  2. Consideration to move the Township from .com domain to a .gov domain for our website and email. .GOV domains cannot be taken away and have more inherent security than other domains. They required a verified set-up but once that is done, we receive the benefits. It is advised that we would keep our .com domain and forward those inputs through the .gov domain.  This move fits well with a proposed update to the township website and we’d likely do those changes in one fell swoop. Neumann moved, Lovell supported, to move toward adopting a .gov domain for the township’s digital existence.  In a voice vote all Ayes, Motion Carried.
  3. Formal Board Vote to join the Crawford County early voting consortium. Clerk Ball expounded on the reasons for joining the Crawford County Early Voting Consortium for the constitutionally mandated 9 days for each state/federal election.  A Board Vote is required. Neumann moved, Lovell supported, to formally join the Crawford County Early Voting Consortium. In a voice vote all Ayes, Motion Carried.


  1. Board Vote on increasing election worker (for Lovells managed elections) pay to be equal state reimbursement rate of $15.00/hr. for Early Voting. It was also suggested that the Election Chair should receive the Township differential, currently paid above regular worker pay of $0.35/hr. Ball moved, Lovell supported, to increase election pay for workers for the Feb, 27 Primary to $15.00/hr. and the Election Chair to $15.35/hr.  Roll Call Vote, all Ayes, Motion Passed.
  2. Discuss and Decision adoption of design and purchase of a Lovells Township Flag. Submitted designs were offered to three vendors for bids.  All bids were close, but Kalamazoo Flag was slightly preferred for 6 Flag Purchase pricing.  They also opined that the flag design with a white as opposed to yellow background would provide better contrast for the images. Ball moved, Hopp Supported, to adopt the “white” option as the Lovells Flag and purchase six 36” by 60” Nylon Flags at $109.00 per.  Roll Call Vote, all Ayes, Motion Passed.
  3. Discuss the feasibility of financially supporting Porta-Potty at Dam 4 Road Access point in conjunction with Boardman River Clean Sweep. Boardman River Clean Sweep, the non-profit that provided the trash can for the access site offered to split the cost of a Porta-Potty at the Dam 4 road end access.  For 4 months the Township’s share would be $285.00.  This service was previously supplied by the Michigan Fly Fishing Club pre-covid   The MFFC has been contacted but no reply if they will be able to support that project again was received. Neumann moved, Lovell supported, to fund the Porta-Potty in conjunction with BRCS for $285.00.  In a voice vote all Ayes, Motion Carried.


  • Informational Items
    • 18 NARCANs have been taken from the box so far.
    • Parks and Rec Committee Minutes are on Display in the “South Corridor” of the Township Hall
    • Federal COLA and its application to Township payments. 3.2% will be applied to Township salaries, per diems and that like for FY ‘24-‘25
    • Liquor and General Fund FY ’24-‘25 Budgets to be passed to Board in December and Actioned in January 2024. A Public hearing and formal adoption will be at the February ’24 Board Meeting.
    • Updated Parcel Division Application has been developed and deployed at the request of the Assessor
    • Moving Back to Frontier for Phone Service from Clear-Rate (a reseller).




Regular Business closed at 11:09


  • Suzi Moore commented on Elk sightings becoming more frequent up Twin Bridge Road which she associated with the logging activity in the area.
  • Darren Slupka inquired regarding the fuss on STRs in the Township. Supervisor Neumann provided a brief capsule of that issue.
  • Matt Dingell commented that he knows well the challenges on STR regulation as it is easy to go “off the grid” with the marketing of same.
  • Dave Soderquist questioned the utility of having a “tourist season” in the STR ordinance given the 4 season of amenities Lovells has to offer. The comment was noted and we will likely expunge that reference in the STR Ordinance.  He was supportive of the .gov move, extra flags and asked that we publish the how of early voting.  (Note we are required by law to do just that).  He asked that we find a way to “hammer’ those that flaunt our ordinances by having STR activities without a proper authorization.  There was significant discussion from Jo Johnson, Matt Dingel and others on how difficult this was to enforce with folks claiming they are not “renting” but letting friends and family stay.  That will likely be the bane of our ability to have 100% enforcement, but putting strict penalties in writing will keep the honest folks honest perhaps.
  • Sally Brand reminded that the Township Community Christmas Party, Sponsored by Cheerful Givers, is December 2, 5:00 PM at the Township Hall. Pot Luck Dinner (Meat Provided), Games and Santa.  If you plan on attending, please contact Heide to register children. (989-889-0031).  Anyone wishing to help decorate can do so at the Hall on November 21, around 1 PM.
  • Public Comment Closed at 11:26

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

Meeting Adjourned at 11:27

Next Regular Meeting of Lovells Township Board will be held Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 10:00 AM at this location.



Respectfully Submitted,


Kenneth F. Ball

Lovells Township Clerk