Fife Lake Township

Scott Tinker hs been hired as Fire Chief for Fife Lake Area Emergency Services, effective February 1, 2018.   Chief Tinker reports to: Fife Lake Area Emergency Services 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 April1, 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.


Grand Traverse Rural Fire Update

At the Grand Traverse Rural Fire meeting held on October 18, 2017, Four of the Five board members voted to dissolve GTRF as of March 31, 2018.  Dissolution of GTRF required a 2/3 vote which was four votes of our five member board, therefore the motion passed.

The GTRF attorney will be present at our next meeting to be held Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Paradise Township Hall.  We will be discussing elements of dissolution such as equipment, dispursement of funds, remaining costs to be paid out, etc.  The board did extend our 2017 into the first three months of 2017 which has the approval of the State of Michigan.


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 Jason Roelofs

Grand Travere County Sheriff's Office, 851 Woodmere Avenue, Travere City, MI  49686


Please note Deputy Roelofs will be leaving Fife Lake Township as our deputy on February 18, 2018 and will be returning to road patrol.

Deputy Eric Meyers will be replacing Deputy Roelofs.  Eric lives in Fife Lake Township and we welcome him aboard.


March 23, 2017


  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 allows us to start the legal process to leave GTRF.  This will begin with a letter of intent to withdraw, which will be given to GTRF at their next meeting.  The process will include adopting a resolution and presenting it to GTRF before June 30, 2017.  This resolution will notify GTRF that we will officially leave GTRF on December 31, 2017.

  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

  Fire Advisory Committee Chairman, Roger Gibson

  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 will provide a safe walkway to three major businesses on the north end of the community, and parallel the ideals of the designated "Trails Town."  This grant, with local matches from the village and township, will build a sidewalk on Boyd Street from the Methodist Church to Van's Lane.  This project will be completed in the Spring of 2018.

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.


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.



    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)


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)


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.


The DEQ has issued a permit for the public access site  

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.

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.