Fife Lake Township

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.

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Fife Lake Community Notice:

The Village of Fife Lake and Fife Lake Township are forming a joint Planning Commission.
A joint planning commission operates much like the existing individual Village and Township
planning commissions. Duties include maintaining an updated master plan and zoning
ordinance, reviewing planning applications, and community-development initiatives. Working
together on these projects will further strengthen the strong relationship between the Village and Township, pool resources to serve residents more effectively, and ensure collaboration around land-use development, economic growth, and natural resource protection.
The joint planning commission is being formed by an advisory subcommittee, nominated by the Village Council and Township Board. Subcommittee members include:
● Marcia Eby (Village planning commission)
● Pam Lawrence (Township planning commission)
● Joe Jones (Township planning commission)
● Patrick Prebo (DDA)
● Stan Patrick (Chamber of Commerce)
● Dave McGough (Village President)
● Linda Forwerck (Township Board)
● Mary Kelley (Village Council)
This advisory group will meet on the following dates, between September to December, 2018. Sep 4, Oct 2, Oct 23, Nov 13, Dec 4
All meetings will be held at the Township Hall (134 Morgan Street) at 6:30 p.m. These meetings are open to the public. Please keep in mind that the subcommittee is advisory and tasked solely with recommending how to structure and operate the joint planning commission. The current Village and Township planning commissions will still meet during this time period to handle other planning and community development matters.
We anticipate that the joint planning commission will take effect in January 2019, at which time the current Village and Township individual planning commissions will incorporate and dissolve.
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Rite Aid from Kalkaska Will be giving Flu Shots At the Fife Lake Township Hall

On October 10, 2018 beginning at 2:00 p.m.

If you do not have insurance coverage there will be a charge.

Please bring your insurance card or any other cards with you that cover flu shots.

Screening Questionnaires and Consent Forms Are at the township hall for you to

pick up and fill out ahead of time.  If no one is in the office the completed form

Can be put in our drop box to the right of our front door.

Fife Lake Township Hall, 134 Morgan Street, Fife Lake

August 2018 Election Results:

On behalf of Fife Lake Township, I would like to thank our taxpayers for supporting the millage renewals for Ambulance, Fire and Police.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated  staff and volunteers to respond to your emergency needs.  When you see them out and about, please thank them for what they do.  They deal with all kinds of life threatening events, some of which are horrific.  They have to have a special stamina to deal with these. 

Linda Forwerck, Supervisor

Again, I thank all of our taxpayers for your support on these important votes!  

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Landscape Improvement:

Please take note of the landscaping done by Bethany Thompson (EMS employee) and Nicole Precord (volunteer) under our American flag in front of our building.  We are lucky to have Bethany and Nicole volunteer to improve our entrance.  We also thank American Legion Post 219 for donating a new flag which proudly recognizes our wonderful country and the veterans who have protected us through times of war and peace.

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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.

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Please read this notice from Deputy Roelofs:

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

231-995-5000

Deputy Eric Meyers 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.

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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

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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.

 

             tribal2grants2017edit1

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

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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

Purpose:

To prohibit non-law enforcement personnel from possessing

and storing weapons in Fife Lake Township owned buildings.

Scope:

All Fife Lake Township elected officials, hired employees and volunteers.

  

Policy

    Policy Statement:

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)

Definition:

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)

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Medical Marijuana:

Fife Lake Township continues to gather information on this subject.  On January 31, 2018, Clerk Street and Supervisor Forwerck attended an MTA conference where this topic was heavily discussed with speakers from LARA (Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation) and an MTA attorney.  FLT survey responses are due by February 15, 2018.  They can be placed in our drop box immediately east of our entrance door.

The following information has been taken from Michigan Township Associations article “Clearing the haze on medical marijuana”  in their Township Focus issue February 2017.

The options for local governments are:

  1. If  FLT chooses to not allow a medical marijuana facility in our township, we do nothing.
    1. We do not need to adopt a moratorium, pass a resolution or approve an ordinance in order to keep these facilities out.
    2. Whether we know we do not want a provisioning center, grow operation or other facility, or we just are not sure yet, our best bet is simply to do nothing.

The State of Michigan will issue licenses for medical marijuana facilities.

  1. Provisioning centers, commonly referred to as dispensaries.  Commercial property where marijuana is sold to registered qualifying patients or caregivers.
  2. Class A, B or C licensed grower would be permitted to have up to 500, 1,000 or 1,500 plants, respectively – a major increase from the current maximum of 72 plants for a caregiver growing marijuana for five patients and himself or herself.
  3. Marijuana would go to a processor which extracts resin from the marijuana or creates a marijuana-infused product.
  4. Testing marijuana for safety, contaminants and cannabinoids.  This would be done at a safety compliance facility. This commercial entity would operate similarly to a lab, and would receive marijuana from another facility and conduct tests on the substance.
  5. The law requires that marijuana be transported between facilities for a fee by a secure transporter.

The following information is taken from Planning & Zoning New, September 2016.

Fife Lake Township will keep our citizens posted on updates, please feel free to contact your elected and appointed officials by calling 231-879-3963 or writing to FLT, 134 Morgan St, P.O Box 87, Fife Lake 49633.  Comments can be placed in our drop box beside the front door of our hall.

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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.

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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!!

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 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.

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 * 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
    231.879.3963

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.