Village of Bear Lake: Financial Position

Bear Lake News was requested to submit a 6 month FOIA Subscription to receive Regular and Special Meeting notices and all documentation provided to any Council member or public attending in person. This was approved in November, 2017:

Under MI Freedom of Information Act (Public Act No. 442 of 1976 as amended)

We hereby submit this 6 month subscription request for the following documents. 
  • To be received via electronic mail. 
  • In advance of all Village Council, Planning, Two Lakes Sewer Authority meetings.
  • a) Agendas
  • b) Draft Minutes within 8 business days ( as per OMA)
  • c) Approved Minutes within 5 business days of approval (as per OMA)
  • d) All finance documents referenced in those Minutes
  • e) All spreadsheets referenced in the Minutes when the FY Operating Budget has been amended
  • f) All Special or Public Meeting Notices in no less than the notice required by law.
Said documents are required to be produced for all Village Meetings and therefore do not meet the additional labor charge time period.
To attach said documents to an email has been timed at 90 seconds.
We look forward to the Village’s compliance with their stated intent of open and transparent government. Perhaps a simpler solution would be a link to where a full meeting packet may be located on the Village web site?
Bear Lake News Media Service.

On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:47 PM, Bryan E. Graham

Dear Cindi:

I have reviewed the FOIA from the Bear Lake News.  With the exception noted below, all of the requested public records must be provided in
electronic format and in advance of all Village Council and village planning commission meetings.

On January 8, 2018 we amended our request:

Any document presented for review or discussion at any Village Council Regular, Special or Planning Commission meeting.
As previously noted – such documents have already been created for the Council and meeting attendees to view – we are requesting these be made available as either .doc, .xls or PDF format and supplied via email or GoogleDrive in advance of said meetings to allow residents time to review and comment please?

Again, as we have done on many prior occasions, we would highly recommend the Village post all Meeting packets to it’s own web site to avoid
duplication of such FOIA requests.
Bear Lake News.

Items not received:

  • FY 2017-18 Year End final itemized spreadsheet for Profit and Loss by fund and line item.
  • March 28, 2018 Council meeting itemized spreadsheet for Profit and Loss by fund and line item. [our volunteer resident was unable to attend to pick up a copy in person. If any Village resident would agree to attend one meeting a year please contact us by replying to this post?]
  • A $50 fee was requested of a resident asking to receive copies of the 2017 W3, W2s and 1099 Misc – approximately 22-26 single sheets. A request to receive a redacted pdf copy as these were prepared by a contracted CPA ($400) for submission to federal and state tax entities was refused as taking 10 days to comply. In using the Village’s own lengthy FOIA fee schedule – a fee of $2.50 plus postage was offered and declined by the Village. current_foia_detailed_cost_form_1-24-17[pdf]
  • A request to see the actual application and cost sheets for the proposed Hopkins Park kayak launch/pier project has not received a response. From the corrected Public Hearing announcement and Minutes [ Unapproved Public Hearing Kayak Canoe Lauch March 28 2018 ] it appears this no longer a joint Township/Village Project and states “The grant will cover 74% of the project and 26% will come from other donations. The project will be 100% covered with minimal cost to village.”
  • A February 13, 2018 request to see the final details concerning the now confirmed loan from USDA to construct a new Maintenance Building was not complied with.
  • On April 5 the following was received:
  • The status of a 30 year USDA loan application for construction – I assuming you are referencing the DPW building?  Loan has been approved and bids will begin but there has been nothing set/annouced on the bids.
    2. The status of a USDA partial grant for a vehicle purchase – We received the grant money for it.[NOTE: we have not seen this amount noted in the Minutes or which Fund the grant receipt was placed in]
  • On April 6, 2016 the following was sent:
  • As I was one of the individuals who submitted the FOIA request for information about the USDA Loan for the DPW Building I would like to ask again for a copy of the proposal and the USDA Letter of Commitment spelling out the loan agreement. No information has been provided to the public on the final cost, the interest rate, the repayment terms or the loan term itself. In the unapproved March 218 Minutes :
    Motion to sign the Resolution to Purchase, Acquire and Construct Capital Improvements and to Publish Notice of Intent to Issue Municipal Securities by
    McPherson, seconded by Ronning. Motion Carried.
    Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Ware, Bair
    Nay: None
    Absent: None
    Motion to authorize treasurer to open additional dedicated bank accounts for the payment & repayment of funds for construction, DPW building & USDA projects as needed by Evans, seconded by McPherson. Motion Carried.
    Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Ware, Bair
    Nay: None
    Absent: None
    I am asking that the financial information related to this loan be included in corrected Minutes for March 2018.
  • On April 11 the following was received:
  • The village was awarded this and was sent a letter of conditions for the DPW building on March 21, 2018 from USDA.  An ad was placed in the News Advocate on April 2, 2018, Notice of intent to issue municipal securities to the electors of the village of Bear Lake.
    There is no final cost as that will be determined when the project is finished.  The loan can not exceed $328,000.00.  The repayment schedule will be established for 30 years from the date of closing at 3 1/2%.
  • To date this information has not been posted at