Board Meetings

Minutes September 12 Meeting Lovells Township Board


Regular Meeting of the Lovells Township Board

September 12, 2023


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


ALSO PRESENT  Dave Soderquist, Bill Gergorsky, Ann Duby, Sally Brand, Jo Johnson, Suzi Moore, Chief Lewicki, Mark Ratajczak, John Porteous, John Orin, Randy Long, Undersheriff Shawn Schnoor.

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 August 8, 2023.  No Questions/Comments. Neumann moved to accept the minutes from August 8, 2023 as provided, Lovell supported.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED

PRE PAID VOUCHERS:            Neumann moved, Hopp supported a motion to approve July pre-paid vouchers From August 4, 2023 through September 7, 2023 as presented:  General Fund totaling $20,350.99; Direct Deposit Checks totaling $6,020.31; Fire Fund totaling $4,318.01; Landfill Fund totaling $6,915.38; and Liquor Fund totaling $11.72.  Exceptional Items noted was a payment of the pension liability to Cynthia Infante-Inman.  The gross amount check was forwarded to the township along with the taxes and net payment instructions and the Township issued a check for the net amount. In a roll call vote:  All Ayes.  MOTION CARRIED.

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

CORRESPONDENCE:   A Thank You from Warbler’s Association for supporting the fireworks display was received.


AssessingDay to Day Assessing operations continue.

Fire/EMS Department –   Chief Lewicki was present and discussed several items. Repairs to the “water hauler” pick-up are nearly complete at Fick and Son ‘s and will be in $6,500.00 range.  This vehicle pumps  water from nearby sources to the tanker truck and is an essential tool for the department.  Also discussed was the timeliness of the decision to replace the Fire/EMS service radios as we have received an “End of Lifespan” notice on the current set.  The current set are also losing range and are not compatible with other departments sets.  Chief Lewicki is obtaining quotes for 12 handhelds and replacement mobile units for the vehicles.  Friends of Lovells Township Fire and EMS provided support of $52,000 towards radios and SCBA gear which has been added to the Fire Fund.

One Fire and Six Medical Runs were handled by the crew in August.

Cemetery Sexton- There were several cremains internments in August and normal up keep was done.

Liquor Inspector- 3 Inspections, No issues noted

Zoning Administrator – 3 Permits Issued: 1 Accessory Building, 1 Pole Barn, 1 Pole Barn Addition

Zoning Enforcement Officer – A case was reported to Lovells Township regarding tree removal in the Green Belt Zone close to the township hall.  This was reported by a credible neighbor and Supervisor Neumann will confirm the extent of the potential infraction and plan next steps.


Board of Review – No activity

Historical Society – The Lodge Tour ticket sales have exceeded expectations and are now closed, reaching the maximum the owners wish to have.

Crawford County Planning Commission (CCPC)No Report

Lovells Township Planning Commission (LTPC) – One STR request brought before the Board was denied. The following is exerted from the Notice of Decision:

The LTPC unanimously, has concluded the SUP for STR- LTZO 04/08 of 2014, Section 13.03 not be granted as petitioners have not met the requirements of:

  1. The use has and would not be operated so as to be harmonious with the intended character of the general vicinity and will change the essential character of the area.
  2. The use does not meet the goals and objectives of the Lovells Comprehensive Plan.

In addition, the applicant rented this parcel several times, fully aware of the need for a permit and did not “Cease and Desist” as instructed by the township.


Zoning Board of Appeals – No Activity

Lovells Media and Reading Center – Book Boxes were well used over the summer and had to be restocked.  Activity seems to have dropped off as would be expected.  The Scout who made the boxes has applied plaques describing the Troop and Project.


  • None Noted


  1. Work Session on Fire/EMS and Landfill Budgets. Neumann discussed the budgeting process, looking at previous years expenditures and considering exceptional one-offs and unpredictable items which, by definition, are hard to budget for.  The Fire Fund typically has a $92,000 carryover and is 2/3 funded by the Special Assessment District (SAD) and 1/3 by the annual General Fund Allocation.  Income estimates for ’24 is $96,500 and predictable expenditures of $92,300.  Landfill Budgets are similarly built based on the Landfill SAD charges for Improved Parcels, non-resident, and large ticket items.  Income and expenditures are projected to be balanced at $91,200.  Both Budgets will be subject to review via Public Hearing in October to confirm.
  2. 15 minutes allocated to discuss future of Short-Term Rentals in Lovells. The current policy/administrative structure is not serving township needs so other options were discussed.  Supervisor Neumann inquired with the Townships Attorney as to the option to limit STR’s in the Township and in short, the answer is yes, but the limits must be “reasonable.”  Discussion was had regarding the correlation between complaint activity associated with STRs and the various Township Zones and home density.  The Attorney has advised that regulating STRs through the Zoning Special Use Permit is no longer the preferred method.  Use of a licensing ordnance is preferred as it provides more enforcement options.  Neumann provided a sample STR License Ordinance from Grayling Charter Township for review.  The sample includes several provisions which are of interest (such as annual renewal and capacity restriction), and could serve as a basis for a Lovells ordinance.  The board also discussed a moratorium on accepting applications for new STRs.  There are various opinions on that issue and no decision to have a moratorium was taken.  The licensing concept will be explored further.
  3. Discussion and decision on a recent donation offered to the Township. Neumann read an affidavit regarding a conversation he had with Mike Mosser in which Mr. Mosser proffered a check to the township to support “township needs” juxtaposed with an upcoming Planning Commission meeting where the Mosser’s STR was to be reviewed.  The check was sequestered, unviewed, so as to not be of any potential influence in the official proceeding regarding the Mossers.  The Board decided unanimously that to avoid any perception of undue influence to politely decline the donation and return the check.
  4. Discussion on 2024 elections vis-à-vis new laws regarding Early Voting and traditional in-person and absentee voting.
    1. Per voter approved amendments to the Michigan Constitution, we now must provide 9 days of early voting in addition to the “Election Day” and Absentee Voting which had previously been in force.
    2. In regards to Absentee Ballots: Because Election mail cannot legally be forwarded if you have an alternate mailing address (i.e., PO Box or a different location) please be sure that it has been updated.  You will not receive your ballot if I do not have the correct mailing information.  We do not get notification of change of alternate addresses; you must tell us!
    3. In regards to Absentee Applications, as in the past you will receive an AV ballot APPLICATION before we can issue a ballot, however this year it is different in that this application will stay with you until you rescind your wish to be on the permanent absentee ballot list. In other words, once you complete THIS application you will not need to fill one out again from this point forward you will receive a ballot for each election.  Of special note: You must also declare your party preference for this and future presidential primary elections (you will receive that ballot only) Please complete it in full and return to the office when you receive this application.


  1. We have been told by the Bureau of Elections that if your mail is returned to us undeliverable, we are to make as many of these three attempts to locate you so you have the opportunity to vote- by phone, email or text.
  2. All of this will make voting perhaps more convenient, but administering elections more challenging. This impacts both the Primary (Feb 27 or March 12, 2024) and the General elections.
  3. Lovells will be joining a consortium of all Townships and the City of Grayling to provide a single county-wide early voting site (yet to be named). This situation is a moving target as the legislature still has bills in the works that would impact election administration.  Also, the tools needed to effect these changes are not yet in existence. While the state is providing funding for these mandates it is not likely to cover all local cost and the reimbursement mechanism and timing through the Counties is not firmed up.  This is a developing situation and we will endeavor to keep residents apprised.
  4. This being a Presidential Election Cycle, all Township Officers and Board seats are up for election in 2024 (Primary and General). Nominating Petitions are available at the Township office during Lovells regular business hours.


  1. Neumann nominated Sally Brand to another 3 year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals, term expiring 4/1/2026. Lovell supported, by unanimous voice vote, Sally is hereby appointed to the above office.


  1. Snowplowing bids are out and due NLT 10/5/’23 and will be actioned at the 10/10/’23 Regular Board Meeting
  2. After Action Report on the 32nd Annual Bridge Walk was given by the Committee Co-Chair Sally Brand. Very successful with over $17,000 raised through the various channels.


Regular Business closed at 11:18


  • Dave Soderquist inquired if limiting STR within zones would help on the premise that concentration STRs in more developed areas may equate to more problems. He also commented that STR could be liable for additional taxes based on that activity.  This is not a Township level issue.  Further suggested some penalization for operation of an STR without appropriate licensure.
  • Randy Long inquired into a CPC Child Support Payments as a line item for the Landfill Budget. This was explained as a capture of income by the State from a former Landfill Attendant who was behind on Child Support.
  • Bill Gergorsky expressed concern over the security of the NARCAN box and if it could be covered by the Ballot Drop Box camera. A general discussion ensued regarding the merits of the box being located at the Township Hall/Fire Barn in general given the vandalism we experience.  It was decided to seek guidance from the provider of the box on best practices.
  • Public Comment Closed at 11:47

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

Meeting Adjourned at 11:48

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



Respectfully Submitted,


Kenneth F. Ball

Lovells Township Clerk