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Articles from December 2018 (Return to News home)
by Kim Lautner
Friday, December 28, 2018



Subject:          Traverse City Green Team 2018 Summary


       Jim Carruthers, Mayor – 231-922-7768 (

       Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk – 231-922-4480 (           

       Sarna Salzman, SEEDS Executive Director – 231-929-3663 (

 Issued:           December 26, 2018

In December 2016, the City Commission of Traverse City passed a resolution to meet 100% of the electricity demand for City operations - meaning the yearly total of all municipal electric meters - with clean, renewable energy sources by the year 2020. Renewable Energy sources are defined as wind, solar, geothermal, and/or landfill gas. The City also set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by pursuing renewable energy and energy efficiency, or other sustainability projects, with the goal of initiating at least two such projects per year through 2027. With these actions, the City Commission formed an advisory Green Team. This is a team of 6-10 people who meet regularly to update the 2011 Climate Action Plan to accomplish the new goals. The Green Team is charged with recommending sustainability projects and developing a plan to become carbon neutral by mid-century.

Mayor Jim Carruthers is a strong supporter and advocate of using clean energy, not only in Traverse City, but throughout our entire region. He has been a key participant in the Traverse City Green Team, and has a unique impact through his personal commitment as well as his position as the City’s top elected official. “I am proud of Traverse City – our commitment to be a leader in clean energy in the State of Michigan, the City’s continued support of our Green Team to give life to our clean energy goals, and the engagement of our citizens and local businesses who take daily steps to mirror the City’s commitment to environmental responsibility. It’s truly great to be a part of such a forward-thinking community and to help lead the way for a better and cleaner tomorrow.”

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette echoes the Mayor’s sentiment, “Traverse City is known for our beautiful connection with nature – be it the water, agriculture, or outdoor recreation, and our City is committed to operating in the cleanest and most green-ways possible through our energy use, the purchases we make, and the services we provide to our community.  I’m extremely proud and grateful to serve a community that values our role in preserving and maintaining our beautiful natural environment.”

Since December 2017, the Green Team has accomplished the following:

  • Full LED lighting upgrades were installed at the Governmental Center and County Jail.
  • The Civic Center pool installed a Variable Frequency Drive pump along with 2 new HVAC rooftop units to increase efficiency.
  • Various pieces of tier-4 low emission equipment were purchased for use by City crews.
  • The City purchased a solar-powered arrow board for use with street closures and detours. Traverse City was recognized as one of 30 communities in the Michigan Municipal League Green Communities Challenge achieving “Silver” status and receiving this year’s prize for most improved community.
  • City Crews planted over 150 trees throughout the City, as well as collected and processed leaves City-wide for composting.
  • Traverse City purchased its first electric car for use by the Parking Department.
  • The Traverse City Light & Power Board in 2018 approved in its Strategic Plan to become 100% renewable by the year 2040, with an intermediate goal of 40% renewable by 2025.

The City and The Green Team celebrate Traverse City Light and Power’s creation of a Green Rate.   So far, 130 customers have signed up for TCLP’s Green Rate, election to offset their energy consumption with renewable sources such as wind and solar, and investing in renewable energy technology. 



by Benjamin Marentette
Thursday, December 20, 2018


 Subject:          Audit of Election Equipment and Conduct of November 2018 Election

 Issued by:      

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele (231) 922-4760

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette (231) 922-4480

Charter Township of Garfield Clerk Lanie McManus  (231) 941-1620 

Charter Township of East Bay Clerk Susanne Courtade  (231) 947-8647


Issued:             December 20, 2018


On December 20, 2018, an extensive audit of the election held on November 6, 2018, of randomly-selected voting precincts in the City of Traverse City and the Charter Townships of East Bay and Garfield was concluded.

The audit included analysis and examination of documents and procedures used during the election, which produced excellent findings.

Additionally, the audit included verification, by hand-count, of the results of three randomly-selected races (Attorney General, State Proposal 3 and Probate Court Judge); the audit concluded that the results reported by the tabulators used to count the votes was 100% accurate. 

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette served on a small panel, with Michigan’s Secretary of State and Director of Elections, which developed the capabilities and specifications of voting systems to be used across the state of Michigan.   Marentette indicated, “At the August 2018 election, across all voting precincts in Grand Traverse County, new voting equipment, including vote tabulators, were implemented.   This equipment was tested and vetted through federal and state laboratories; and so, while we have always felt confident in the accuracy of the equipment used, this affirms that confidence.”  

Charter Township of East Bay Clerk Susanne Courtade said, “Conducting the audit is a great way to reaffirm this important equipment’s capability and accuracy.  This is something I expect and am proud of; and I believe our voters have the same standards and expectations.”  

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele was pleased with the audit saying, “Audits like this are important for several reasons, and the most important of those reasons is ensuring the methods and manner in which elections are conducted guarantees accuracy.   As election officials, we are responsible to forever-protect the fabric of democracy and that is done through multiple stages of double-checks, including after-the-fact checks like this audit.”


by Kaitlyn Aldrich
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

December 17, 2018



Contact:           Jessica Carpenter, Engineering Technician, (231) 922-6894,             



12/18/2018 – 12-21-2018

TRAVERSE CITY-Team Elmers and Shoreline Power will be making repairs to the sidewalk snowmelt system in the sidewalk north of the Clinch Park Pedestrian Tunnel on Tuesday, December 18th starting at 9:00 AM through Friday, December 21st.

The sidewalk will be closed and access to and from Clinch Park via the pedestrian tunnel will be restricted.  Appropriate signage and barricades will be in place in and around the work area.

The schedule is subject to change due to weather. This construction will generate dust, noise and cause inconvenience. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Please feel free to call Jessica Carpenter at 922-6894 if you have any questions.


The City of Traverse City is located in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Traverse City was incorporated in 1891 as a Village and in 1895 as a City. It encompasses 8.09 square miles and has a population of 14,674 (2010 Census).

by Kelly Rice
Monday, December 3, 2018

TRAVERSE CITY- The City of Traverse City Water and Wastewater Maintenance Department will be conducting water system repairs on Cottage View Dr. at the Grand Traverse Commons.  Cottage View will be closed to thru traffic between Medical Campus Dr. and Silver Dr. from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018.  Please use alternate routes avoiding this area to reduce congestion, delay and promote worker safety. Appropriate signage and barricades will be in place in and around the work area.


This construction will generate dust, noise and cause inconvenience. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Please feel free to call Justin Roy, Water/Wastewater Maintenance Superintendent, at 922-4923 if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the work or the schedule.

by Katy Garavaglia
Monday, December 3, 2018



Subject:                        Keeping Sidewalks Accessible for Everyone

Primary Contact:       Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,

Issued:                          December 3, 2018


With winter’s arrival, the City of Traverse City reminds residents and business owners that they are responsible for the removal of any snow and ice that accumulates on the sidewalks immediately adjacent to their property.  City officials are also encouraging residents to help their neighbors and relatives who have difficulty removing snow from their sidewalks.

“Almost all of us travel by foot for a portion of our daily trips,” said City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.  “As a community, particularly when we have a traditional Northern Michigan winter, we need to work together to keep those sidewalks and crosswalks clear to help us all get around.”

The City reminds everyone that many people rely on walking and transit as their primary way to access jobs, services, and businesses.  Without clear paths through snow and ice, it is especially difficult for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children to walk safely.

In addition, icy or snow-packed pathways make it difficult for firefighters and paramedics in cases of emergency. “Having clear sidewalks and pathways when emergency personnel, such as Fire Fighters and Police Officers, are responding, makes a huge difference when each moment is precious,” said Marentette.

The City’s Department of Public Services is committed to clearing sidewalks after major snow events, with priorities being primary corridors and sidewalks near schools.  However, during prolonged snowfalls, sidewalks may not be cleared for several days and there are portions of the sidewalk network that are not cleared by DPS.  “When residents promptly clear snow and ice, they play a critical part in keeping Traverse City moving,” said Marentette.

Residents who would like to report a problem related to the enforcement of the City’s snow removal ordinance, are encouraged to call Code Enforcement Officer Mike Trombley, 922-4414 or visit the City of Traverse City website at

Snow Removal Video for the City of Traverse City