Sewer Project Meetings tomorrow, March 17

On March 17, public meetings will be held at the Bear Lake School Library at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., located at 7748 Cody Street, Bear Lake, Michigan.
Please note the original posting by the Village quoted wrong dates.
Subscribers to Bear Lake News have submitted the following questions which have been forwarded to both the Village and Township – together with, once again, a request for reasonable accommodation for those who are unable to attend through infirmity or disability. [i.e an audio/video recording or a full written transcript of the proceedings]
  • Alliance for Economic Success is not a governmental entity, therefore it’s actions are not subject to MI Open Meetings Act or FOIA. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is a sovereign nation and also not subject to these ‘Sunshine Laws’. I am curious how this project arrived at this level of development without any local notification or discussion at a public meeting held by the participating units of government? At what public meeting were the Township Supervisor and Village President authorized to take part in this steering committee?
  • Why was information originally bragged as ‘only being available here’ on a Facebook page not the public web sites of our elected governments?
  • I see all the authorizing documents have already been voted on – and NOW we have the public ‘information’ meeting? The downfall of the previous 2 sewer attempts was deliberate misinformation – if this is so important why not operate in public?
  • We applaud the effort to provide infrastructure for Downtown Bear Lake – however, why should local residents pay for something that will benefit a private developer?
  • Lake quality has consistently improved for the past several years – so environmental concerns are unfounded. What concerns me is the possibility of environmental damage caused by explosive development and storm water run off from newly paved areas?
  • At what public meeting was the decision made to hire this particular grant writer and Wade Trim? Why was there no Request For Proposals issued to see what other firms are qualified? Who do these individuals work for? AES or LRBOI? Who determined the rate of pay?
  • Is this system solely to provide commercial service? If so it should be financed as a Special Assessment.
  • If the intent is to run the main collection system along M22 – how much damage will this do to a designated Scenic Highway?
  • Looking at the rumor of using M22 as the main route – how on earth can the engineering of pumps and lift stations possibly accommodate the topography except at a huge cost? Is it $36 or $46m and how much of that is just to put in the pipe?
  • How will lift stations be powered unless a natural gas service line is installed? A fail safe back up power system must be installed for each to prevent a major leak.
  • To maintain enough pressure to lift that volume over that distance will require considerable energy costs. Is it even possible to allow private property hook ups to this main high pressure collection pipe?
  • The Tribal treatment plant states an increased capacity of 200,000 gallons per day – this is woefully inadequate if the intent is to add volume from Arcadia and Bear Lake. Assuming this is a Groundwater Discharge Permit – what additional MBR equipment will be in place to capture contaminants of emerging concern and the inevitable industrial waste which will follow commercial development?
  • Where does the LRBOI intend to disperse the increased biosolids?
  • If the LRBOI owns the treatment works – will they also be obligated to share in the costs of maintaining, repairing and replacing the collections system? If this is a P3 [Public/Private Partnership] what protections will there be for increases in fees and costs passed on to local citizens?
  • The current @ cost of running a main collection pipe is $0.5m per mile – how can this be justified in our rural communities? Unless plans are also afoot to turn M22 into a developed area?
  • You have stated that one rationale for this project is to protect three watersheds – how can you reconcile that statement when, should this project proceed, you will be diverting/withdrawing millions of gallons of precious groundwater from the Greater Bear Watershed and the Arcadia marshes?
  • With the Village set to construct 2 high capacity drinking water wells, and past Wellhead Protection Mapping showing the integral relationship between Bear Lake itself and the groundwater fed aquifer – if all that produced water is then diverted to Manistee, will this have the same affect of lowering Lake levels as has occurred, with disasterous results, in other such communities?
  • It would seem these people have no intent of listening to the wishes or suggestions of people who live here. This will be the third attempt to ram an overblown sewer project down our throats.
  • Will the ‘feasibility’ study look seriously at alternative, more sustainable, more affordable, service and collection/management systems and programs that could still include using the LRBOI Treatment Facility? There can be no justification for this length of collection for this stagnant rural population.
  • Certain individuals have claimed that this sewer is vital for growth and development. The Village of Onekama and Honor have been sewered for decades – where is the growth and economic investment there?
  • We, the US Tax payer have already invested millions in the Village of Onekama treatment system – why not use that?
[official notice]
 — The governing bodies of five local units of government in ManisteeCounty have each passed resolutions to determine the financial feasibility of working together with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians to establish municipal sewer capacity. Participating local governments including Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Arcadia Township, Village of Bear Lake and Bear Lake TownshipNext steps involve forming a sewer authority and submitting an application to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development to determine the level of grant and loan funds available for the project.A grant application will be submitted soon to USDA to cover the majority of the costs associated with the preparation of the financing application by the firm Wade Trim on behalf of the Authority.
On March 17 and 18, three public meetings will be held to discuss the project. On March 17, public meetings will be held at the Bear Lake School Library at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m., located at 7748 Cody Street, Bear Lake, Michigan.
On March 18, a public meeting will be held in the gymnasium at the Pleasant Valley Community Center at 10 a.m., located at 3586 Glovers Lake Road, Arcadia, Michigan. Anyone interested may attend any and all community meetings. The meetings will include participation by the participating local governments and the firm Wade Trim. The local governments have invited questions about the project and responses to those questions will be provided as part of the meeting. Apurpose of the meetings is to identify additional questions that individuals or other entities may have so that answers can be provided either during the meeting or in follow up to the meeting.Another set of public meetings will be held later this year to provide an update about the status of the project. The response from USDA on the availability of grant and loan funds for the project is estimated to be available late in 2017.The local units are developing the funding application to USDA to determine the financial feasibility of developing a sewer pipeline system that would connect with the wastewater treatment plant inManistee Township that is owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The local governments are collaborating because of their shared interest in protecting water quality in three high quality watersheds, enabling planned development that needs sewer infrastructure and taking advantage of the economic benefits of collaboration in the project.Questions about the project may also be submitted by:
Emailing them to the Alliance for Economic Success at:
Phoning them to the Alliance for Economic Success at 231-723-4325
Sending them to the Alliance for Economic Success by telefax to fax no. 231-723-3717

AGENDA: Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting. March 15, 2017 7:00 p.m

No response was received to a request for reasonable accommodation for those who are unable to attend due to employment, disability, infirmity by speakerphone.

Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting

March 15, 2017
7:00 p.m. – Village Hall

    • Additions:
  4. PUBLIC COMMENT: Any agenda item ONLY (two (2)-minute maximum)
    • Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
      1. Email – Jason Wilder Evans
      2. Letter of resignation – George “Carver” Edwards
      3. Email – Kris Buckner (Bear Lake Days Committee)
    1. Special Meeting – February 15, 2017

Regular meeting – February 15, 2017

Corrections: Clerk McPherson has a correction

    1. Special Meeting – February 22, 2017
    2. Special Meeting – March 1, 2007 (grant approval)
    3. Special Joint Meeting – March 7, 2017 (BL Water Improvement)
    4. Special Joint Meeting – March 13, 2017 (Kayak/Canoe, Fishing Pier)
    Treasurer’s Report 2-28-17 This PC Documents

    1. Approval of Treasurer’s Report
    2. Amendments
  3. BILLS to be PAID:


Major Street 2/01/2017-2/28/2017 $654.50

Minor Street 2/01/2017-2/28/2017 $0

Park Fund 2/01/2017-2/28/2017 $0

Water Fund 2/01/2017-2/28/2017 $101.00

Equipment Rental $N/A

Total to transfer to General Fund = $1655.50


  • PARK:
    • Park Improvement -Resolution
  • TREES:
  • WATER:
  • SIDEWALK:   
  • BLIGHT/CABA : Blight Enforcement Officer report
  • AD HOC COMMITTEE: Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee  – No report
  • Sewer – Articles of Incorporation
  1. PUBLIC COMMENT: General Time – Any Village-related item (three (3)-minute maximum)
    • Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
    • Items on agenda or not listed


March 13: Kayak Launch Public Hearing update

The following has been posted to

A request for information about the previous Notice, and reasonable access for those unable to attend, was made on March 7. Bear Lake News requested a copy of the proposal to publish to allow public comment.







PLEASE TAKE NOTE that the Bear Lake Village Council and the Bear Lake Township Board will hold a joint public hearing to gather public input on a proposed joint Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund application for the proposed kayak/canoe launch and fishing pier site located within Hopkins Park. The public hearing will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bear Lake Village Hall located at 12376 Virginia Street, Bear Lake, MI 49614. The public is invited to attend and present its comments on the proposed Trust Fund application.

Written comments may be submitted at the public hearing or may be sent before the public hearing to the Bear Lake Village Clerk at the above address (P.O. Box 175) or to the Bear Lake Township Clerk at 7771 Lake Street, P.O. Box 187, Bear Lake, MI 49614.

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for effective participation in the public hearing should contact either the Bear Lake Village Clerk or the Bear Lake Township Clerk at the above addresses as soon as possible in advance of the public hearing to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

Date:March 7, 2017 Cindi McPherson, Village Clerk

Deanna Pattison, Township Clerk

March 13: Public Hearing

Joint Public Hearing

Natural Resources Trust Fund Application for Proposed Kayak/Canoe Launch and Fishing Pier.
Mon Mar 13, 2017 7pm – 8pm Eastern Time
12376 Virginia St, Bear Lake, MI 49614, USA (map)
Cindi McPherson, Clerk – organizer

A request was made for additional information on behalf of those unable to attend and who may wish to comment.

Village of Bear Lake: February Draft Minutes and Meeting Document

The Village no longer records meetings. As a service for those unable to attend, volunteers supply recordings as permitted under the Open Meetings Act. The Village provided a telephone number for a public access bridge to listen to this meeting.

For those who require a screen reader accessible PDF you can download the February Draft Minutes here [supplied by an accessibility volunteer]

Drafted Minutes February 15, 2017

Village of Bear Lake Council REGULAR MEETING

February 15, 2017. Bear Lake Village Hall

Unapproved Minutes

The regular meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:05 p.m. at the Village Hall. Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Peggy Bass, Ron Ronning, Jackie Johnson, Carver Edwards, and Greg McPherson

Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Larry Gibson and Jared Bair

Absent: None

Guests: Four guests signed in

Motion to Adopt the Agenda as presented and with additions by Bass and seconded by G. McPherson, motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, G. McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

Clerk McPherson added:

  • Under Correspondence; Resignation of Janene Gee
  • Under Treasurer’s Report; Amendments to 2016-2017 Fiscal Year
  • Under Old Business; Lake Improvement Board Meeting & Appointee
  • Under New Business; DeRidder Claim, Employee Evaluation for Jared Bair, Land Bank Report and Continue to work with Bear Lake Township on projects.

Public Comment: Jason Wilder Evans commented on Carver Edwards health issue, nominate self for open position and item on budget, election money.

Correspondence: Read by clerk:

  • Resignation letter from council member Janene Gee.
  • Email correspondence was read from Dendra Best regarding January 2017 regular meeting minutes in regards to her Manistee County Trail Committee report. Per Ms. Best, she did not submit a “bullet list”.


Approval of the following meeting minutes:

  • Motion to approve minutes from January 18, 2017 with additions by G. McPherson, seconded by Ronning.
    * Additions: Under “New Business”, Mansitee Household Hazardous Day and BL Village Community Clean Up Day, June 24, 2017
    Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: Edwards
  • Motion to approve minutes from February 1, 2017 Public Hearing, Budget 2017-2018 Work Meeting by Johnson, seconded by Ronning.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None
Abstain: Edwards


Budget 2017-2018 Work Meeting February 1, 2017

Approved Minutes

The Public Hearing Meeting of The Village of Bear Lake Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7p.m. at the Bear Lake Village Hall

Pledge of Allegiance – said by all.

Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Ron Ronning, Peggy Bass, Jackie Johnson, and Greg McPherson

Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Jared Bair

Absent: Janene Gee, Carver Edwards and Larry Gibson

Adoption of Agenda: Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Bass. Motion Carried

Guests: None

Public Comment: None

Proposed 2017-2018 Budget – Discussion was held.

Meeting Adjourned at 9:38 p.m.]

  • Motion to approve minutes from February 13, 2017 Joint Meeting with Bear Lake Village and Bear Lake Township by G. McPherson, seconded by Johnson.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None
Abstain: Edwards

[SPECIAL MEETING THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE and the Bear Lake Township Board Monday February 13, 2017 at 7pm

Bear Lake Township Hall, 7771 Lake Street

Approved Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Bear Lake Township President, Jeff Harthun at 7pm

Pledge of Allegiance was said.

No roll call was taken, members of both Bear Lake Village and Township were present and general public individuals.

Public comment: None

Discussion was held on:

Banners – Julie Griffis updated on project.

Kayak Launch – grant is being written. A legal document will be drawn up to put kayak launch on Bear Lake Village property.

Community Projects – Both Bear Lake Village and Township will continue to work together on park/village projects.

County Trails – Julie Griffis gave an update.

No decisions were made

Public Comment: None

Adjournment at 8:16pm

Respectfully submitted by Cindi McPherson, Village Clerk]

  • Maintenance Report: Read by Jared Bair. Report on file with February 2017 minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report: read by King. Report on file in the 2017 Minutes binder.
  • FY2016-17 January Village of Bear Lake Treasurer ReportEquipment Fund checking/savings total 3,270.45
    Honor Bank CD 26,004.30
    Minor Street checking/savings total 20,239.16
    Major Street checking/savings total 41,000.41
    Park checking/savings total 28,947.75
    Park CD#2 32,844.39
    Water checking only 32,921.54
    Money Market Account 10,049.03
    General checking/savings total 22,401.61

Motion to accept Treasurer’s Report by Ronning seconded by Bass, motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

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  • Council member Johnson asked about a contingency fund for the water. Both President Bair and Ken Mlcek (Fleis & Vandenbrink) said it will be done before closing on the loan.
  • Amendments to 2016-2017 were tabled, Special Meeting to be held on February 22, 2017 at 7pm. Bear Lake Village Hall [see stand alone post here]
  • Bills to be paid were read by Clerk. Motion to pay the bills as amended by Johnson, seconded by Bass. Motion carried. Amendment: Blarney Castle, Major Fund $1,000 and Minor Fund $617.67. List of bills is found at the end of the minutes.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards

  • Reimbursements to the General Fund were read by Clerk. Total to General Fund: $2,018.50

Reimbursement list is found at the end of the minutes.

  • Committee Chair Reports:

Park: President Bair reported pre-sold camp spots at $22K.

Trees: No report

Streets: No report

Water: Ken Mlcek from Fleis & Vanderbrink – Water/Well Project going well. Bids and permits should go out in March. Working on meter info and USDA list.

Equipment: G. McPherson reported proposed purchase of used/newer dump truck. Reconditioned truck around $40K. Will keep current truck as a supplement for salting streets. Will be putting in a grant for USDA and Revenue Sharing.

Sidewalk: No report

Blight/CABA: Gibson reported: 7667 Stuart Street property has been sold. 12238 Virginia Street property offer fell through. Full Blight Report on file with February 15, 2017 minutes.

[Village of Bear Lake  Blight Enforcement Report

February 15, 2017

7667 Stuart St.
Property has been sold, purchase agreement signed, back taxes paid. New owner will get a demo crew in as quickly as possible to clean it up. Drafting plans to put a garage on it.

12238 Virginia St.
Talked to owner, perspective buyer has not given a final answer yet and now say they will decide by end of March. They are concerned about the flooding of the shop/garage area.
Owner says it will go back to the county for back taxes on March 31st.

Respectfully submitted by, Larry J. Gibson. Blight Enforcement Officer]

Planning Commission: No report

Manistee County Trail Committee Report: Clerk McPherson summarized email from Dendra Best. Complete report on file with February 15, 2017 minutes.

[Rob Carlson will be sending an updated prioritized map this morning which I will forward for attachment once received.

It is requested that each municipality review and comment but appreciate that future completion of the priorities is a 5-10 year funding horizon.
Any suggested local additions should be framed on a 10-20 year completion timeframe as funding is already tenuous.
There is a possibility of future linking from Arcadia to join the Trail Head located at Pleasanton Township Hall US31 junction.
The Alliance is requesting efforts for local funding use them as a clearing house to avoid duplication or competing applications.
There was discussion concerning the goals of the linking of county wide trails and how to formulate them for public presentation: economic impact from tourism, promotion of outdoor activity as a wellness enhancement, quality of life for residents, greater awareness of the natural environment.
Discussion have been held with other state and local trails associations to garner expertise and assistance. Also Consumers Energy.
I raised the issue of combining motorized and non motorized use, particularly in winter. If the trend continues of shorter, warmer winters, the issue of maintaining trails will have to be addressed.
Accessibility for those who need assistance is going to be limited:
  • mobility will be difficult during non snow seasons due to prohibition of the use of ORVs on many trails, some trails will eventually be useable by motorized wheel chairs but the range will be limited to battery power
  • accessible signage for the visually impaired was suggested
  • I raised the issue of seeking funding to address the needs of disabled veterans and those who are unable to ride snowmobiles

There was discussion of promoting bike trails both for off road winter and all season use.

There was discussion of talking to individual Fire Chiefs about emergency response issues.
A meeting is scheduled for March with MDNR.
The next Committee meeting will be in April.
Dendra Best
– please forward copies of the map to all Council members. Please find the map from last evenings meeting at the Google Doc link below.  The map is titled “Existing Trails and Primary Route Development_2017-02-14. ]

Ad Hoc – Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – Reviewed Policy on Employee Holiday/Vacation – Tabled until new council member is added.


  • Lake Board Improvement appointee – council member Greg McPherson.
    Joint meeting of The Village of Bear Lake, Bear Lake Township and Pleasanton Township will meet on March 7, 2017 at 7pm at Bear Lake Township Hall.


  • Motion was made by Bass to approve water rate increase in April, making all users $120.00 per quarter, seconded by McPherson. Motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards

Additional water rate increase will be in October 2017, this will meet USDA requirements.

  • Motion was made by Johnson to approve the Manistee County Collaborative Sewer Initiative (1/31/17), seconded by G. McPherson. Motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards

[attached as an accessible rendered PDF by a volunteer




Village of Bear Lake

County of Manistee, Michigan


WHEREAS, our local government has participated in a preliminary collaborative sewer project involving Onekama Township, Arcadia Township, Bear Lake Township, Pleasanton Township, and the Village of Bear Lake; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the project is to assess the economic and practical viability and benefits of developing a sewer system that would connect participating local governments with the wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LROI) with the understanding that LRBOI has agreed to make treatment capacity available to the participants; and

WHEREAS, the potential benefits of constructing such a sewer system include: creating infrastructure to develop and expand businesses and create jobs; protecting surface and ground waters and Lake Michigan from pollution caused by septic system failure; protecting three critically important watersheds; and achieving an economy of scale in completing such a project through collaboration; and

WHEREAS, because of the potential benefits of the project the participants believe that their respective governments should proceed to the next phase of the project; and

WHEREAS, the next phase of the project involves two steps: (1) formation of a sewer authority involving all local governments and (2) an application by the sewer authority to USDA Rural Development to finance the construction of the sewer system which would result in a definitive financing proposal involving grant and loan funding; and

WHEREAS, the estimated cost for the next phase of the project includes legal fees of $10,000 to establish the sewer authority (Attorney Eric Williams) and $30,000 in fees to complete the application to USDA Rural Development (Wade Trim/Brian Sousa), a total of $40,000; and;

WHEREAS, a USDA Rural Development Planning grant could be sought by the Sewer Authority that could cover $23,000 of the $40,000 in costs to establish the authority and complete the financing application, leaving a balance of $17,000; and

WHEREAS, if all five local governments continue to participate in the next phase, each local government would contribute a sum of $3,400 if the planning grant is secured or $8,000 if it is not secured, with an understanding that the sum ($3,400 or $8,000) could be financed through the financing provided by USDA Rural Development for the sewer project;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that our local government, contingent on full participation by the above referenced local governmental units, will allocate $3,400 toward establishing the sewer authority and submitting a complete financing application to USDA Rural Development with the understanding that the participants, through the Sewer Authority, will make their best efforts to secure a planning grant and that Attorney Eric Williams and the firm Wade Trim will proceed to establish the sewer authority and the sewer construction grant application to USDA Rural Development, respectively; and

FURTHER, that the participants will collectively establish a communications process to discuss and answer questions about the project, including three open public meetings; and

FURTHER, that we be provided copies of all agreements and other documents executed, prepared or completed as part of this phase of the Initiative; and

FURTHER, that our current representative(s) on the collaborate sewer ad-hoc committee continue to be our representative(s) to develop the proposed sewer authority and funding application with final approval by our governing body.

Roll Call Vote:

Peggy Bass __Yes__ Carver Edwards __Abstained__ Jackie Johnson__Yes___

Greg McPherson __Yes___ Ron Ronning___Yes___

Jeff Bair __Yes____

Yeas: __5__ Nays: __0__ Abstain __1__ Absent: __0___

THIS RESOLUTION DECLARED ADOPTED THIS 15TH February 2017. I, Cindi McPherson, Clerk of the Village of Bear Lake, State of Michigan, do hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution No. 2017-1 was duly adopted by the Bear Lake Village Council during its regular meeting held in the Village Hall in the Village of Bear Lake on 15 February 2017.

  • Motion was made by G. McPherson to adopted the MDOT Performance Resolution for Governmental Agencies, seconded by Ronning, Motion Carried. Needed for parade & street maintenance.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards

[attached as an accessible PDF provided by volunteer

MDOT 2207B Performance Resolution Govt Feb No 2 2017 (1)

  •  DeRidder Insurance Claim was discussed and decided by council to follow the decision made by the Village’s insurance company, MML ( Michigan Municipal League). Denied.
  • Motion was made by Johnson to approve Jared Bair’s Annual Evaluation, seconded by G. McPherson, Motion carried. Evaluation is on file with February 2017 minutes.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards

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  • Motion was made by Ronning to approval a $2.00 per hour increase in pay to employee Jared Bair, seconded by G. McPherson. Increase will start 1st pay period in March 2017.

Aye: Bass, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: Johnson
Abstain: Edwards

  • Motion was made by G. McPherson to continue working with Bear Lake Township on community projects, seconded by Johnson, Motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none
Abstain: Edwards


  • Jackie Johnson commented that the Meeting with Bear Lake Township & BL Village was exciting.


  • Jason Evens Wilder called for the resignation of Council Member Carver Edwards due to his health condition.


  • Community dinner at Bear Lake Methodist Church this Thursday.
  • Girls & Boys basket ball games
  • 5th Quarter at Bear Lake Methodist church after the game on Friday.
  • Bear Lake Promoters After Hour Event will take place on May 18, 2017 at 5-7pm at Bear Lake Hardware Design Center. Speakers will be landscape architects from Beckett & Raeder discussing the US 31 Corridor Plan.

Meeting adjourned at 8:47p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cindi McPherson, Clerk



Major Street 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $1,490.50

Minor Street 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $00.00

Park Fund 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $00.00

Water Fund 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $528.00

Equipment Rental $

Total to transfer to General Fund = $2,018.50

Bills To Be Paid

Date: February 15, 2017

Name, Amount, Fund, Account Notes

Young, Graham & Wendling $350.00 General Fund 101-265-801 phone retainer 1 ½ months, update FOIA policy & forms

Bear Lake Township $1,028.34 General Fund 101-191-740 Election

West Coast Farm Service $175.00 Major Fund #202-463-783 Winter

Bear Lake Ace Hardware $63.47 General Fund 101-265-930

Haviland Products Co. $460.50 Water Fund 591-558-775 Bleach

District Health Department #10 $120.00 Park Fund 531-000-740 Campgrd Annual Inspection

Blarney Castle $1,000 Major Fund 202-265-776 Fuel Oil- Maint Build

$617.67 Minor Fund 203-265-776

Manistee, Mason, & Oceana Conser District $125.00 General Fund 101-000-803

Reimbursement, Sally King $193.32 General Fund 101-265-500 Lansing travel MMTA Wkshop

Bittner/Jennings Attorneys $531.30 General Fund 101-265-801 FOIA

$931.38 Water Fund 591-558-801 Water Project – reimbursement

IRS payment $266.73 General Fund 101-265-714 Tax period March 2013

Manistee Co. Road Comm. $264.15 Major Fund 202-463-783 Salt/Sand

$264.15 Minor Fund 203-463-782

Jackpine Business Center $85.97 Park Fund 531.000.900 Camp Permits

Staples $151.33 General Fund 101-215-727 Toner, ink

Gabridge & Co. $400.00 General Fund 101-265-801 QB training & W/2 & W/3 forms

February 22 Village of Bear Lake Budget Amendment Meeting

No response was received for the request for accommodation for attendance at either the February 1 or February 22 meeting.

PDF of FY 2016-17 Budget Amendment Sheets as provided

Fiscal Year 2016-17 End Amendments

2017-18 Budget Worksheets

Bear Lake News Subscribers submitted the following questions for review at the February 1, 2017 Budget Meeting. The following was received in reply on February 22:

Listed are the answers to your questions you submitted.
1. If deficits are noted at the close of the current FY in any Fund, and it becomes necessary to use reserve savings to make up the difference – has that been carried over to the FY17-18 spreadsheets
A. No, it is a 2016-2017 transaction.
General Fund:
1. Has the Council discussed the increasing % of Property Tax income that now goes to cover wages and salaries? $56k in income v $76,700 in expenditures. Can you list the current combined payment to the Village President that comes from all sources.
A. Wages & salaries are distributed to all funds where employees worked.
We are unsure of where you got the $76,700 number from, please explain.
[ From previously supplied spreadsheets:
President pay: monthly $250, quarterly $450, Maintenance Supervisor $1,000.
[it is customary for the Park Manager to receive a % of Park rental fees, please clarify?]
2. How many part time employees does the Village currently have, contractual or employee, at what rate of pay and what duties do they perform. Is there now a requirement for 2 individuals to be present when snow plowing Village streets.
A. Part-time employees are Larry Gibson – Blight Officer, Lane Lee & GaryMcBride.  – Maintenance.  One paid person drives the plow truck.
3. A line item of $1000 has been created for ‘Election’ – is the Village anticipating a need to reimburse the Township for election services this year.
A. The amount has always been there to the best of our knowledge.
4. Public Utilities – at $17,000 for which services and locations is this anticipated.
A. All public Utilities and all village owned locations.
[we have asked for a more specific breakdown of services per location]
5. $5800 is budgeted. Actual expenditures on tree damage this current year is over $12,000, with trees also being listed in both Minor and Major Funds. When tree invoices are paid is it noted where the location is to comply with State regulation.
A. $12,000 was from 16/17 budget. yes, location is noted, Major/Minor
Major and Minor Streets
1. With action pending at the State level to eliminate State Income tax does the Village have any reserve funds or plan to express it’s opposition to such action.
A. No
1. if the proposal is to eliminate several prime Park lots – what steps have been considered to explain the increase in rental income (to $38k when actual rent income  is listed at $33,360)
A. There is no proposal.
[we have asked for detailed information on siting of the proposed Kayak launch which is the subject of a Public Hearing March 13 at the Village Hall to consider an application for funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund]
2. $10k is listed as Salaries and Wages – can you elaborate please which employees this relates to and where the corresponding Park line item for Withholding appears (actual expenditure is currently $14,565) During summer 2016 the Village employed at least 2 additional part time employees – does this budget anticipate requiring the same number in 2017, at what rate of pay, for how many hours, and are they classed as contractual or an employee.
A. Wages are tranfered to General Fund. At this time we anticipate 1 part-time employee. $9.00 per hour.  Employee
3. Public utilities are listed at $12k – actual expenditures in FY16-17 is overdrawn by $2,810 to $10,360. What steps are being taken to do an energy audit in the Park to bring those costs down.
A. No engergy audit will be done. This depends on what type of camper/trailers are in the park.
1. An increase in water bill revenue is listed at $100k ( $70k in FY16-17). The discussion and approval of an increase in water rates has not taken place yet, what is the anticipated monthly/quarterly increase.
A. We approved this at our February 2017 meeting for rate increase in April & October of 2017.
2. Salaries and Wages have increased from $2,500 to $10,000 – for which employees is this increase necessary
A. Treasurer, President & Maintenance staff spending more time with water system.
3. Sewer Project – $3,500 – at which public meeting was the need to allocate this amount convened and for what purpose
A. Done at February 2017 meeting, to further investigate the cost.
4. Professional Services at $14k – current FY16-17 Budget is for $20k with actual expenditures at $22,806. How is the reduction in expenditures anticipated when the current agreement with Mead Hunt is as follows:

Weekly pricing is on Time and Materials (T&M) basis at $50.00 hour with minimum of 4 hours plus Water Sample Analysis as required by the MDEQ. All water samples analyzed will be at the Villages expense with invoices billed on a T&M basisCall-outs and Extra Time are at $65/hour with authorization only by the designated representative of the Village of Bear Lake.

Weekly site visit, well house/wellhead inspection, chlorine application and distribution system residuals monitoring, hands-on Village employee training and water sample collection and delivery to the labminimum of $200.00 per visit.

Will the Village have a fully certified water system operator on staff this year?

A. We are looking into different possibilities.

5. Bond payment has increased from $10k to $25k – Bond Interest increased from $2,200 to $14k.
Please explain.
A. We may need to make a double bond payment for this year.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
Village of Bear Lake


Sunshine Week – Your right to ask, and be told, who is doing what and at what cost.

Sunshine Week
It’s Your Right to Know

March 12-18, 2017

Sunshine Week lasts seven days, but it’s up to all of us to keep the sun shining on our local units of government all year.

Sunshine Week is brought to you by:
the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
With generous support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Gridiron Club and Foundation

Sunshine Laws operate at the federal, state and local level and guarantee you, the public, access to view your government’s official actions, including but not limited to meetings, records, votes and deliberations.

The public policy behind passage of Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. (“Mich. Comp. Laws Ann.”) §§ 15.231 -.246, is set forth in its first section:

It is the public policy of this state that all persons, except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees, consistent with this act. The people shall be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.

In Michigan, the right of citizens to have full access to the actions of their local elected officials are covered by FOIA and the Open Meetings Act.

And at the local level:

Further more – you have the right to ‘reasonable accommodation’ to fully participate in and have knowledge of the business transacted at the local level under both the Americans With Disabilities Act and TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 which prohibits discrimination in programs and activities which receive federal financial assistance.

  • See Village of Bear Lake Title VI: Non Discrimination Policy

    The Village of Bear Lake is a General Law Village, in northwest Michigan, operating under the General Law Village Act 3 of 1895 as amended of the State of Michigan.  Accordingly, the Village of Bear Lake is a body organized to promote the general health, welfare and safety of the public and citizens of the Village of Bear Lake.  The Village of Bear Lake serves all people, including minority populations, low income populations, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those who traverse the Village.  The Village of Bear Lake, recognizes in responsibility to provide fairness and equity in all of its programs, services, and activities, and that it must abide by and enforce federal and state civil rights legislation.   

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the overarching civil rights law which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, in any program, service or activity that receives federal assistance.  Specifically, Title VI assures that, “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal assistance.”

    The Village of Bear Lake will actively pursue the prevention of any Title VI deficiencies or violations and will take the necessary steps to ensure compliance. If irregularities occur in the administration of the program’s operation, procedures will be promptly implemented to resolve Title VI issues all within a period not to exceed 90 days.

  • The Village of Bear Lake designates Cindi McPherson, Village Clerk as the Title VI Coordinator. The Village Clerk will be responsible for initiating and monitoring Title VI activities and other required matters, ensuring that the Village of Bear Lake complies with the Title VI regulations and pursues prevention of Title VI deficiencies or violations. Inquiries concerning the Village of Bear Lake and Title VI may be directed to the Bear Lake Village Clerk, PO Box 175, Bear Lake, MI 49614; Phone: 231.970.2066; Email:

     What YOU can do next week:

  • If your local government is meeting – attend
  • Ask for support for this Sample Proclamation to show their support for the right of their constituents to expect open government and transparency in all their actions – after all, it’s your money they’re spending isn’t it?

Today March 1 at 4pm: Rescheduled Village of Bear Lake Special Meeting

At 4.04 pm on February 28 the following was received:




will be meeting on:

Approval of Grant Applications

Meeting date: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Meeting Time: 4pm

Location: Bear Lake Village Hall

12376 Virginia Street

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for effective participation in the public hearing/public

meeting should contact the Bear Lake Village Clerk at 231.970.2066 or at the above address 24 hours in

advance to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

Cindi McPherson

Village Clerk

February 28, 2017 posted

[upon request to provide additional information the following was received:

“Meeting for to night [2/28] is cancelled.  See attached for new meeting information.
Grants are for plow truck, park and maintenance building.”
No additional information was provided or a response to a request for the meeting to be audio taped under the Village’s Title VI Non Discrimination Policy.