Don’t forget the public hearings on Wednesday, May 5th at 7pm at Southarm Twp Hall on M-66 in East Jordan and on Thursday, May 6th at 7pm at Echo Twp Hall at the end of Six Mile Lake Rd for the Special Assessment District. These hearings determine whether the townships will continue with a lake management company, right now PLM, to manage invasives on our lake. It is important to attend and voice your opinion. In Echo Twp there is some concern of over management by PLM and the possibility of using funds in excess of what is brought in through the SAD assessment. This year, should the Echo Twp board approve the SAD, the funds are capped at $17,000 which means PLM will have to be extremely prudent with how they use the funds available to them. I don’t know if Southarm also has a cap on what PLM can spend. In the case of Echo Twp should PLM exceed the $17,000 collected the township cannot use other taxpayer dollars to make up the difference. To be clear PLM has never exceeded this amount but we never know what kind of invasive will need to be treated in future or how often. The $17,000 cap means our individual assessments will stay the same as last year and not be raised. Please show up and voice your opinion. Last year only one person showed up at the Southarm Township hearing and only one person showed up at the Echo Twp hearing and we really need a bigger attendance if we want to keep the SAD.
FYI…the loon platforms are in and the north pair, banded and the same pair we have had since 2014, are up on the nest as of last Thursday. The south pair are still playing around but should be on the nest in the next 2 to 4 days. This year when we put the platforms in both pairs were waiting for us in their respective territories in the exact spot we have put the platforms since 2012. They know us and know our boat. We even made a return trip to the south platform to add more nesting materials as they have been on and off so much we were concerned there wouldn’t be anything left and all they did was float next to us and watch. We have been asked about adding a third platform and we won’t for two reasons. First, these birds are very territorial and we have two pairs who know each other and pretty much stay in their respective territories which means the chicks have a better chance of surviving. The second reason is respect for the fishermen on the lake and others who give the loons time and space to sit on their nests in probably two of the best fishing spots on the lake and yes, we do have fishermen that aren’t exactly fond of the loons, believe it or not. So two families of loons are enough we feel.
As for the lake level…we have had a few days of light rain which has brought the lake back up from the two or three feet of visible shoreline we had just a couple of weeks ago. I have been told the Army Corps of Engineers finished their study of the Chain and determined that Six Mile Lake and St. Clair Lake were the only two lakes on the Chain that cannot drain properly due to the constriction at the culvert in Ellsworth. What will eventually be done about this? My guess is nothing. Anyone traveling north on 571 for the past year was forced to detour because of water over the road and traveling down Six Mile Lake Rd in Charlevoix County is like taking your life in your hands so I think you get my point.
The 800 acre Symon property located across from Echo Twp Park, owned by Mantai, was sold a couple months ago to a guy from Lansing. We met him and talked to him and he is currently fencing the property and has installed a gate on Symons Rd blocking the through way to Muckle Rd. He wants no one on his property so stay off and don’t sneak under the gate on Symons Rd either. Many of us have taken that route on our daily walks but no more.
We have hundreds of tree swallows this year on the lake so you might consider putting up some bluebird boxes and see if you can attract either species.
Our first meeting of the year is Saturday June 12 at 9am at Pleasant Valley Free Methodist Church. Bring a dish to pass. It’s been a year since many of us have seen each other. As all government meetings have resumed from Zoom to public now, we felt comfortable doing the same. Of course, wear a mask and distance if you wish. Hope you all had a good winter. It was mild here and wonderful! See you soon!!