Welcome To Onota Township

Photos from Onota Township, Michigan

We appreciate your visit to our website. Here you may find public resources such as documents (including minutes, forms, property tax files, the Master Plan, & the Zoning Ordinance).  Information provided covers a range of topics, such as our directory of elected & appointed officials, public notices (see below), recreation, waste disposal, and the Deerton Cemetery. We also have links about the area for our citizens. Please feel free to contact the township with questions or suggestions about this site.

Public Notices

Board Meeting: The board meeting scheduled for Monday, July 6 at 7:00 pm will be held in person.

Public Participation
The public is welcome. In compliance with health protocols, anyone who attends must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Please bring your own mask. Members of the public will be able to speak during public comment portions. A person wishing to speak must provide their name prior to any comments. If you prefer to address the board in writing, please mail or email (onotatwp@tds.net) your correspondence to the township.

Meeting Agenda
An agenda will be posted here prior to the meeting. At this time, the tentative items are: (1) unfinished business – Zoning Administrator position; and (2) new business – Board of Review resolution. The ORV trail topic is tabled for the time being and will not be a topic of discussion. No public hearing for this topic will be held at this meeting, as necessary officials are unable to attend. Letters relating to this item may be held for reading and consideration at a later date, at the discretion of the meeting chairperson.


Board of Review: The Board of Review will be held July 22 at 2 pm. This meeting is to correct errors, omissions, & mutual mistakes of fact. Homeowner’s principal residence exemptions (PRE), Agricultural Exemptions, and certain poverty exemption requests may also be heard. In compliance with Executive Order 2020-87, appeals normally heard during the March Board of Review meeting may be heard at this meeting.


Dumpsters: STOP dumping trash on top of the dumpsters when they’re full! The lids are designed to be bear-proof – overfilling and leaving the lids unlocked will bring the bears back. The dumpsters are emptied twice a week – if they are full, please bring garbage back after they are empty.

The dumpsters are meant for residents who live on roads that the garbage truck will not go down (Deerton-Onota Rd, Onota Hill, Sigan Rd, etc). Please respect that these residents cannot place a garbage container at their driveway for pickup and depend on the dumpsters for disposal. If you are on the truck route, please use that option.


Elections: To encourage absentee voting, the state mailed an absentee ballot application to every voter. Voters who applied may check the status of an submitted application through the Michigan Voter Information Center Leave site. Absentee ballots will be mailed during the first 2 weeks of July.


Area Information
Onota Township
Laughing Fish Point

Onota Township lies along the southern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP), with an area of 92 square miles (30% is within the Hiawatha National Forest ). The population (2015) was 336, with 43% as year-round residents.

The AuTrain-Onota School in Deerton teaches students pre-K-8. The school is respected in the area. Students from outside the district often enroll. Older students attend Superior Central, Munising, and Marquette schools.

There are five distinct areas within the township from east to west – Rock River, Shelter Bay, Onota, Deerton, and Sand River. A number of small businesses are in the township, mainly recreational and service-oriented. Area information is in the Master Plan.

Onota Township has a rich history in producing lumber for buildings as well as charcoal manufacturing (for smelting iron ore). Early on, Scandinavians settled in the area to work and homestead. Read about the area history.