The January 8, 2019, joint planning commission meeting has been cancelled. This meeting has been reschedulaed for January 29, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.
Tax Collection dates are posted on the window of the township hall. Most collection dates are on Saturdays.
A special meeting was held on December 6, 2018. North Bay developer, Paul Bandrowski, gave a presentation on their proposed development of the Pugsley property. The Township Board approved the agreement between the State of Michigan Land Bank, Fife Lake Township, Grand Traverse County, and North Bay. Zoning and planning will take place and once site plans have been approved and permits issued, the SOM Land Bank will transfer Phase I to North Bay and they will begin their renovations. Phase One covers the fenced area of the prison and the water facilities. Grand Traverse County will continue to utilize the gun range for law enforcement agencies only.
NOTE: To view the Medical Marihuana Facilities Ordinance MMFO-2018-1, go to Township Board and scroll to bottom of page, then open the ordinance. Please note the effective date has been changed to March 1, 2019.
Fife Lake Township Newsletter fifelaketwp.com 231-879-3963 December 2018
From Supervisor Forwerck email@example.com 231-631-1750
We have had a busy year which includes the following: (please note the correction regarding our fire engine, my apologies for the incorrect information).
Transition from Grand Traverse Rural Fire to our Fife Lake Emergency Services. Our fire department is funded with millages from Springfield and Fife Lake townships. Union Township contracts with us for their fire protection. We did purchase a new engine to replace the old engine, as the old engine had been defective for many years. We were able to fund a $100,000 down payment towards the $300,000 purchase with dissolution funds from rural fire.
Boat Access open: we still have a few minor things to do before this site is complete. Because of the early winter, they may not be completed until the spring. We thank the Grand Traverse Band for their generous grant, and the MDNR for their contributed dock and all their labor to bring this together.
Accounting services for our township are now through H&R Block in Kingsley. This is due to the closing of FAS who discontinued their accounting services. Ambulance and Fire accounting is through Dave Milliron, who was the accountant with Grand Traverse Rural Fire.
We have hired Todd Millar as our attorney. He is from Swogger, Bruce and Millar in Traverse City. He is working with us on medical marijuana and the Pugsley project.
We are in the process of forming a joint planning commission with Fife Lake Village. Our start date is projected to be January 1, 2018. Both units of government have hired Elise Craft to lead us through this process. She also will be working with the township on the Pugsley process, along with our new zoning administrator Debbie Rodriquez.
Camp Pugsley: The Michigan Land Bank has met with us several times to discuss potential development on this property. Zoning designation needs to be in place before development can move forward. A December 6, 2018, special meeting is scheduled with a presentation by the developer. All involved parties will be in attendance including the Michigan Land Bank and Grand Traverse County, our attorney and planner, plus the developer’s attorneys.
Medical Marijuana: The township board adopted an Ordinance allowing two licenses each for the five licenses in our township, which would total 10 licenses if all were applied for. This is effective January 1, 2019. This law is heavily monitored by the State and requires new licenses every year in each category. Medical Marijuana is different from the caregiver marijuana law that became law in 2008. It also is separate from the recreational marijuana law passed 11-6-2018.
Roundabout: This project will begin when frost laws are off in the spring of 2019. Traffic will be detoured from U.S.131 to the M-113 exit near Walton then to M-186 and back to U.S.131 where a lane on the northwest corner will take traffic back onto U.S.131. It is our understanding the B & B will remodel during this construction. Expected completion is by the Fourth of July. This will be a single lane roundabout very similar to the one in Mesick on M-115 and M-37. MDOT has been very good to work with on planning this project.
2021 projection: A turning lane project will take place at the U.S.131 and Fife Lake Road intersection. This will define turning and passing lanes similar to the one at South Boardman. This is a much needed safety improvement.
The overhead light at M-186 and M-113 has been out for some time. Consumers Power has been contacted and is working to replace it.
Roads: We have solicited engineering costs from Grand Traverse County Road Commission for Grand Kal Road, south of Lakeshore Drive, to bring it into the GTCRC gravel road program; plus Lakeshore Drive. Lakeshore Drive will be a costly project and we will have to utilize creative financing to be able to fund it. There is not a projected date to do Lakeshore Drive. We are sorry to lose Jim Cook as manager of the road commission as he has been very good to work with.
Cemetery: An imaging project to locate unmarked burials was completed this fall through the hard work of Cemetery Sexton John Kelley and volunteer Lisa Plamondon. This was done in both cemeteries and over 400 unmarked graves were marked with stakes until we can mark them with small stones identifying name and dates. We are urging a) family members to purchase a stone at a nominal cost; b) urging citizens to adopt an unmarked grave; and c) ensure that our township can fund some of these stones who do not fall in category a or b; and d) making sure our veterans have grave markers. If you are interested in assisting with this project, please contact our cemetery sexton at 231-384-2820. Go to our website for further information – fifelaketwp.com.
Nate Alger is now the Grand Traverse County administrator. He was our undersheriff and lives in Kingsley. Rob Hentschel is our new county commissioner. Senator Schmidt and Representative Inman were reelected, and Debbie Stabenow and Jack Bergman were reelected to congress.
The millage increase for our general fund passed and will bring our millage back to one mill. The Headlee amendment reduces all our millages every year, and this millage had not been brought back to one mill for several years. Thank you.
We wish everyone Happy Holidays and safe driving!
Supervisor Forwerck 231-631-1750
Clerk Street 231-263-0056
Treasurer Sorrow 231-879-4656
Trustees Pearson & Zimmerman
Assessor Dawn Kuhns 231-409-1827
Zoning Debbie Rodriquez 810-287-8637
Planning Joe Jones/Elise Craft
EMS/Ambulance Rob Melacon 231-879-4009
Fire – Scott Tinker 231-879-4009
Deputy Eric Meiers 231-879-5302
Cemetery – John Kelley 231-384-2810
Supervisor Linda Forwerck: On behalf of the Fife Lake Township board, I would like to thank our citizens for supporting our General Operating Millage request that was on the ballot. This replaces the millage the township has lost through the years because of the Headlee rollback. The .1715 mills provides funds for our general operating expenses in the estimated amount of $9,299 during 2018, and brings us back to one mill for our general fund. Thank you again.
Our new Grand Travere Commissioner is Robert D. Hentschel who you may know from Roy's General Store in East Bay Township. We welcome him aboard.
Senator Wayne Schmidt and Representative Larry Inman were reelected. We congratulate them.
The Forest Area Schools millage passed. We look forward to security and other school improvements for our students, teachers and staff.
Imaging is key to locate our ancestor’s graves” Cemetery Committee Bucket List
*The latest project is the cemetery imaging to locate unmarked burials. This has been on the Cemetery Committee’s “bucket list” for many years, but a goal the committee felt we could not afford. This past week this dream became a reality, and through the hard work of our Sexton John Kelley and Volunteer Lisa Plamondon, the imaging was done in both Fife Lake and Walton cemeteries where it was discovered we have over three hundred unmarked graves. Wow and now we know where the empty graves are.
The next goal of this project is to mark as many graves as possible. The process will include 1) posting unmarked grave names to fifelaketwp.com, 2) posting lot owners of unknown graves to website, 3) finding family members who can purchase markers for their relatives, 4) urging our citizens to adopt a grave marker, 5) ensure that Fife Lake Township can secure funding to place a small stone marker on the graves of those who do not have a relative, or adopted sponsor to do this, and 4) making sure all veterans have grave markers with the assistance of our local American Legion Post 219.
Please contact Cemetery Sexton John Kelley at 231-384-2820, or Cemetery Committee Chair Cathy Sorrow at 231-879-4656 for more information about grave stone pricing, engraving work, and associated information on this important project. A sample engraved stone will be available.
If you have family stories associated with unmarked or marked burials, please contact Linda Forwerck 231-631-1750 to preserve this important historic information which will be shared with our Historical Society through our museum curator Craig Bridson 231-499-0535. This collected information will be put in our Genealogy Record room at the historic school house and utilized in our local history.
Our cemetery committee members are Cathy Sorrow (Chair), Betty Ingersoll, Marie Voice, Barb Magel, Jim Gifford, Carol Raifail, and Linda Forwerck. Please thank them for their ongoing devotion to our cemetery preservation and improvements. We acknowledge the Fife Lake Township Board for setting aside money in the Cemetery budget to make continual improvements and maintain our cemeteries.
Cemetery Committee History:
In 1989, under guidance of then Supervisor Jack Rawlings, Fife Lake Township appointed a Cemetery Committee to develop a Cemetery Ordinance, and to plan for improvements at both Fife Lake and Walton cemeteries which fall under the responsibility of Fife Lake Township. Serving on this original committee were Gertrude Gonyer, Zelda Gill, Marie Voice, Al Cwalina and Wayne Ingersoll.
Once the ordinance language was in place, the committee decided it needed to cut and trim trees. Landscape Architect Anita Silverman was hired to visit Fife Lake Township Cemetery and make recommendations as to what trees should be cut. Her professional recommendation was the tree cutting should be kept minimal in order to preserve the historic personality of the cemetery, and her recommendation was followed. The township board approved money to move forward on this.
Due to snowmobilers running across Walton Cemetery, a fence was placed around the perimeter. This was also done at the Fife Lake Cemetery which included moving the historic fence from what used to be State Road at the back of the cemetery to the front (then Central Street now State Street) which again added to the historic look. During the Christmas holidays, wreaths are put on the front fence courtesy of the Village Downtown Development Authority. Decorative lights are put on the meandering fence by the marsh by township board members
Since that time, a permanent cemetery sexton (John Kelley) with the assistance of part time helper Nichole Precord , was hired to care for both cemeteries adding that ongoing touch needed to ensure continual beautification of the two cemeteries. John has straightened and cleaned grave monuments which is a ongoing project. Equipment has been purchased by the township to ensure proper care takes place. Future projects include expansion of both cemeteries and eventual irrigation systems. Also, a small park and trail near the marsh is being developed.
Fife Lake Community Notice:
Fire Department Update:
As of 12:00 a.m. on April 1, 2018, our fire services became Fife Lake Area Emergency Services Authority (FLAESA). We now have seventeen (22) volunteers which includes our fire chief Scott Tinker, deputy fire chief Rob Melancon, and captain Andrew Killingsworth. Our four EMS employees are cross trained, therefore they are able to respond to fire calls while on duty at our facility at 134 Morgan Street, Fife Lake.
Our FLAESA board consists of two Springfield Township Board members being Tom Gonyer and Jeremy Birgy plus Fife Lake Township Board members Linda Forwerck and Elizabeth Pearson. Union Township is contracting with us for fire services throughout their township.
To make this transition possible, we purchased equipment from Grand Traverse Rural Fire at a cost of $186,000. This is equipment that was in our Station 6 Firebarn and includes a tanker, brush truck, water supply truck, pontoon boat, snowmobile and kubota (which was owned solely by Fife Lake Township). Engine 6 (2010 model) was returned to Rural Fire. We bought a new 2018 Fire Engine at a cost of $300,000. We did keep the equipment from our old engine and it is now on our new engine. We are sharing this cost with Springfield Township. Our share of the GTRF cash balance distribution check Fife Lake Township received we over $110.000. Springfield Township receives about double this figure as they did not have to purchase equipment.
The transition process has been indepth and involved our attorney (Todd Millar), our auditor (Ryan Howell), and our accountant (Sandra Wilton). We are in the process of getting our mutual aid agreements in place with our neighboring fire departments.
We take our hats off (or should we say helmets) to our fire chief, deputy fire chief and captain plus all of our volunteers and neighbors who helped get our new decals on the equipment, get our gear in our barn, and whatever else needed to be done to put our new fire department together. There were many extra meetings held by Springfield and Fife Lake townships, FLAESA, and EMS to make sure we covered all our bases. We also welcome aboard our many new volunteer faces and some who previously served. Talk about a strong team, we have it!
2018 Freightliner Spartan Engine
Scott Tinker hs been hired as Fire Chief for Fife Lake Area Emergency Service Authority, effective February 1, 2018. Chief Tinker reports to: Fife Lake Area Emergency Service Authority. At this time volunteers are being recruited for our fire department. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call 231-879-4009.
Fife Lake and Springfield townships have formed an independent fire department effective April 1, 2018. This will be managed and funded entirely by the townships. Fife Lake and Springfield townships have been members of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department, servicing a large portion of Grand Traverse County in conjunction with other Townships. The Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department will be dissolving March 31, 2018.
The townships will fund and operate a single fire station through existing township fire tax millages. The fire chief will coordinate all start-up functions necessary to support the fire station to continue to provide uninterrupted fire and rescue services.
Do you own a home in Fife Lake Township or in Fife Lake Village? Are you a seasonal resident? If you answered yes to both questions and would like me to keep an eye on your place while you are basking in the sunshine for winter, then stop by the township office at 134 Morgan Street, Fife Lake. Fill our a property check request and I can keep an eye on your place while you are gone. Please keep in mind, I do not have a snowmobile or even snowshoes, so if you live on a seasonal road or you have a driveway that is extremely long, I will keep an eye on your place from a distance. Fill out the sheet in it's entirety and I will stop by every couple of weeks. Any questions about this service, feel free to give me a call at 879-5302.
Deputy Eric Meyers
Grand Travere County Sheriff's Office, 851 Woodmere Avenue, Travere City, MI 49686
Deputy Eric Meiers is our Deputy. Eric lives in Fife Lake Township and we welcome him aboard. You may see him out and about on his bicycle which Fife Lake Township purchased with our Police Funds. The township also purchased two speed signs to remind you to drive at the posted speed limits. This has been a priority of our Police Committee to make Fife Lake a safer community.
March 23, 2017
FIFE LAKE TOWNSHIP:
At the March 23, 2017 meeting, the Fife Lake Township Board unanimously made a decision to leave Grand Traverse Rural Fire at the end of 2017. This decision hinged on our ability to remain as a GTRF member and receive adequate fire safety; or if we would be able to do this on our own with better results.
This is a decision that our board took very seriously on behalf of our citizens. Our fire millage is “for the purpose of providing funds for fire protection.” Most of the fire safety funds collected each year have paid Fife Lake Township’s share of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire budget, which in 2017 is $55,046 , while our millage collects $58,000 a year.
This decision alloed us to start the legal process to leave GTRF. This began with a letter of intent to withdraw. We adopted a resolution which notified GTRF that we would officially leave GTRF on April 30, 2018.
Let it be known that it is our intention to continue working with our adjacent neighbors in a professional, cooperative manner for Fire Safety today and into the future. This will be done through mutual aid agreements signed by both parties.
Our township historically has had strong fire protection backup from Garfield and Boardman townships in Kalkaska County. We have been assured by their fire chiefs that this relationship will continue. At the same time, once we officially leave GTRF, we hope to work with the remaining units of GTRF, as they are also our neighbors.
Let it further be known that our Emergency Medical Services (ambulance) will continue to cooperate with our neighbors in a professional manner. We are fortunate to have a full time staff here in our EMS building which enables them to respond in a timely fashion when an emergency call comes in.
Fife Lake Township Supervisor, Linda Forwerck
EMS Director, Robert Melancon
Fife Lake Township and Fife Lake Village were awarded a Grand Traverse Band 2% grant in the amount of $22,681 for a joint sidewalk project. This project is now complete which provides a safe walkway to three major businesses on the north end of the community, and parallels the ideals of the designated "Trails Town." This grant, with local matches from the village and township, has allowed our community to have safer walkways.on Boyd Street from the Methodist Church to Van's Lane.
Fife Lake Emergency Management Services was awarded a 2% grant in the amount of $19,058.23 for a combination tool that will be used to extricate patients from vehicles involved in traffic collisions where access to the patient needs to be made by forcing open a door.
Miigwetch to the Grand Traverse Band for their generosity with these much needed safety improvements for our citizens.
Left to Right: Karen Rosa, Long Lake Township Supervisor (recipient of a fire safety grant); Tom Shomin, Tribal Councilor; Jane Rohl, Tribal Secretary; Thurlow "Sam" McClellan, Tribal Chair; Terry Street, Fife Lake Township Clerk; Linda Forwerck, Fife Lake Township Supervisor, Dave McGough, Fife Lake Village President; Stan Patrick, Fife Lake Chamber of Commerce President; Andrew Killingsworth, EMS Public Relations (Fife Lake/Springfield townships Ambulance Authority); Mark Wilson, Tribal Councilor; Kimberly Vargo, Tribal Vice Chair.
Tribal Council members not in picture: Tribal Treasurer, David Arroyo; Percy Bird, Jr., Tribal Councilor.
Picture by George Antoine, Grand Traverse Band.
Note: Unfortunately George passed away in May, 2018. I certainly will miss his enthusiasm and beautiful smile. - Linda Forwerck
MDOT is continuing to design the roundabout for the intersection of U.S>131 and M-186. The plan is available at the Fife Lake Township Hall. Sidewalk extensions, lighting, etc. are bring coordinated with the DDA plans. This project will being in early 2018.
Safety Improvement: MDOT contacted Fife Lake Township asking if we would pay to have overhead illumination lighting installed at the intersection of U.S. 131 and M-186 to provide more lighting at this intersection. After researching the cost with Great Lakes Energy, they came back with a project cost of $2,000 to, not only install overhead illumination lighting at this intersection, but also at U.S. 131 and Fife Lake Road. The FLT board approved this at their February 23, 2017 meeting. This project will take place in the next two months. Great Lakes Energy will be working with MDOT on the project. MDOT has waived their permit fees ________________________________________________________________________
Fife Lake Township and the Ambulance Authority have adopted the following weapons policy:
Fife Lake Township Weapons Policy
To prohibit non-law enforcement personnel from possessing
and storing weapons in Fife Lake Township owned buildings.
All Fife Lake Township elected officials, hired employees and volunteers.
Fife Lake Township personnel shall not possess or store weapons
in Fife Lake Township owned buildings at any time.
Items to be excluded: trauma shears, pocket knives.
(these items to be used by EMS or Fire Staff)
A weapon shall be defined as:
any firearm or any weapon required to be licensed under the CPL law,
or any weapon that is against the law. (adopted 2-23-2017)
The DEQ has issued a permit for the public access site
UPDATE: The project is 80 percent complete. We have some finishing touches such as the coir log installation, a picnic table, anchoring of the parking bumpers and signage. Our plans are to have a dedication ceremony when everything is complete. At this ceremoney we will recognize the generous donation from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, plus the hard work of the Department of Natural Resources.
The project has been scaled back by removing the basin area. This was a large component of the originally proposed design. The project does require some removal of material in order to put in a rock base to stabilize the cement planks which ensures that the project will be successful. This uses a standard Department of Natural Resources design, which has been engineered for any lake. This will be a typical single row boat ramp using 18 foot wide planks with a 13 percent slope. During the actual work, a protective silt screen will cover a 32 foot by 20 foot work area. A twenty foot dock will be furnished by the DNR. The water depth at the end of the launch will be four feet which will allow a boat to float off a trailer. By working with the DNR on this project, your State tax dollars are coming back to our community. This will save Fife Lake Township approximately $30,000.
Parking will be defined on the public access site. A natural vegetative coir log will be placed along the shoreline to prevent erosion, and also will be utilized as an example of how effective this works for shoreline protection. Our projected time frame for the actual boat launch component of this project is to be installed in May allowing boats to be launched by Memorial Day weekend of 2018. The coir log may need additional time to be installed, but this portion is projected to be done by July of 2018..
As stated at the public meetings, this launch site is intended to be used by boats 14 feet and under, and will not allow pontoons to be launched here. Thank you for your patience and participation with this project which to enhance our public access which will be used by our taxpayers.
View the public access permit here.
View the boat launch informational letter here.
Please drive carefully on all our roads, but especially on Van's Lane. We have many pedestrians who walk on these roads and some have encountered careless drivers who are going way too fast. Please respect our pedestrians!!
A great big thank you to Hayes Manufacturing:
Hayes Manufacturing volunteered three of their employees plus two of the owners to plant myrtle in the Fife Lake Cemetery. They did an amazing job working with Sexton Kelley. Luckily we were able to transplant the myrtle from the west bank of the cemetery, this saved a great deal of money The myrtle has been placed in the west end of the cemetery on a bank where we could not grow grass. This will stabilize and beautify the bank. Pictures are to follow soon.
Go to our cemetery page for pictures and more information on cemetery volunteers and projects.
* Grand Traverse County needs your help keeping our roadsides clean! Groups enroll for a two-year membership and perform three trash pickups per year along a two-mile section of county road. An annual safety meeting among volunteers is required. The Road Commission provides two recognition signs, trash bags, vests and trash pickup when your route is complete. Best of all…there is no charge for groups to participate in this program! Visit the Grand Traverse County Road Commission website for more information or to view routes open in your township. http://www.gtcrc.org/General/Adopt-A-Road.htm.
See picture of the Forest Area Federal Credit Union presenting their $800 grant to Fife Lake Township here.
Please take notice that Fife Lake will provide auxiliary aids or services to individual(s) with disabilities. Persons needing such services should contact the offices of the township clerk by writing or calling the clerk, not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing.
- Fife Lake Township Hall
124 Morgan Street
Fife Lake, Michigan 49633
Fife Lake Township shall update news and events as needed to help keep the public informed of the activities within the township during each month. Check here for the latest news and events. If you care to place information about a public activity in this space on our web site, feel free to contact Supervisor Forwerck at 231 631-1750 or Clerk Street at 231 879-3963 to have your activity date/dates announced.
Please stop in the Township Hall and see the mural of historic Fife Lake. Click the picture below to get a glimpse of what our town looked like in the past. Or, click here to download a higher resolution version (File size appr. 40MB. Those on slower or metered connections may wish to view the smaller version).
We continue to get compliments on our Historic Collage in the meeting room. If you have not seen this, please stop by to look at it. Many businesses and pioneers of Fife Lake are depicted in this collage.
The township incorporates the waters of Fife Lake, on the south and west side of the village of Fife Lake. The township lies in the southeast corner of Grand Traverse County with Grand Traverse County being in the Northwest corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan. The waters of Fife Lake run over the county line with only a small portion of it on the east end of the lake being in Kalkaska County. In fact, the SE corner of Fife Lake Township is the SE corner of Grand Traverse County and lies adjacent to the adjoining counties of Kalkaska to the east, Missaukee to the southeast and Wexford to the south.
The area of Fife Lake Township encompasses 36 square miles of which 34.4 sq. miles is land and 1.6 sq. miles is water. The body of water known as Fife Lake is approximately one and a half miles in diameter. It is a beautiful body of water containing two islands, one with a home and the other a private campsite. Pickerel, bass, walleye and other fish are found in great numbers within the lake.
Within the township are found the Village of Fife Lake which was incorporated in 1889 near the intersection of Highway 131 and M-186; an unincorporated community known as Walton Junction so named after the junction of two railroad lines in that area near the intersection of M-113 and Highway 131. Camp Pugsley, a state correctional facility lies in the southwest corner of the township along Walton Road. Also within the township are several large tracts of state forest land providing the area with many recreational opportunities in all four seasons from skiing & ice fishing to swimming and hiking. The local economy is dependent mostly on recreational activities. The area would be considered rural Michigan with a 2000 census population of 1,547 residents within the township.
There are limited manufacturing facilities in the industrial park area just northwest of the Village of Fife Lake. Within the industrial park area is Hayes Manufacturing, Inc. and Cintas Corp. providing additional employment opportunities.
The township owns and operates two cemeteries. Fife Lake cemetery is located within the boundaries of the Village of Fife Lake, but is owned and operated by the township. The second cemetery is near Walton on Elliott Road. You may find specific information on the cemeteries by clicking on the cemetery link.
Emergency services within the township are fire, ambulance and police. All three services respond via 911 emergency phone contacts. See their respective links for further information.
Forest Area Community School District, a consolidated district encompassing 120 sq. miles of land area within six different townships across two counties has an upper elementary school building with grades 3-4-5 located within the township of Fife Lake.
As part of the township and village you can find a variety of stores, shops, restaurants, churches, banking facilities and a local grocery store meeting the needs of local residents and visitors.
Fife Lake Township has paid and unpaid committee assignments that residents and interested citizens can make application for service as a member by notifying the Supervisor and/or the Clerk indicating your interest to serve as a committee member. An explanation of the type of work and schedule of meetings will be explained upon receipt of your call.
|Paid Service Work||Volunteer|
|Elections worker||Civic Center South|
|Planning Commission Member||Cemetery Planning|
|Zoning Board of Appeals|
|Board of Review Member|