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by Alanna Crouch
Monday, April 6, 2020
final_spring_pickup_mailer.png
by Derek Melville
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Registration Packets for the Summer 2020 Season are now available for download by visiting the Parks & Recreation Day Camp page HERE or by going to http://www.traversecitymi.gov/summerdaycamp.asp.   Please make sure you read the 2020 registration instructions completely, as we have temporarily made changes due to the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.  Please understand that camp dates and policies are subject to change as more information becomes available related to Covid-19 executive orders. 

 

by Benjamin Marentette
Monday, March 23, 2020

The Michigan Constitution of 1963 vets the executive power of the state in the Governor.   That power can be exercised formally by executive order.   Executive orders may reorganize agencies within the executive branch of state government, reassign functions among executive branch agencies, create temporary agencies, establish an advisory body, commission, or task force, proclaim or end an emergency, or reduce expenditures authorized by appropriations.  Once signed by the Governor, executive orders are filed with the Secretary of State, where the orders are sealed and retained by the Office of the Great Seal.

Here is a link to Executive Orders by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, with many related to COVID-19. 

by Benjamin Marentette
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Issued by City Clerk Benjamin Marentette:

On March 18, 2020, as an important step to help stop the spread of COVID-19 cases, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Order allowing, and prescribing the method for, public boards in Michigan, such as the City Commission, to conduct their meetings remotely.   The Executive Order expires April 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.   This was the longest period of time the Governor is allowed to suspend a law; after 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2020, a law approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed by The Governor would have to be passed to continue these provisions in some fashion.

 

Specifically, the Governor’s Executive Order allows for members of a public body, such as the City Commission, to be able to fully-participate in the meeting remotely.  Meaning, members of the City Commission may be counted as present, make motions, vote on motions, deliberate, etc., as though they were physically present in one meeting room together.   The Executive Order requires that the public body provide a method for the public to listen to the meeting and to be able to give verbal comments to the board.

 

The City of Traverse City recognizes the importance of not bringing people together unnecessarily in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  The Governmental Center has been closed to walk-in traffic and the City of Traverse City is operating a “virtual city hall” as previously stated as is the City’s Department of Public Services on Woodmere Avenue.    Therefore, the Governmental Center will be closed during the City Commission meeting of March 23, 2020, and for City Commission meetings for the foreseeable future.  Members of the City Commission will not be present in the Governmental Center for official City Commission meetings.  For the foreseeable future, the City does not intend to convene other city board and committees unless their is critical action to be taken; meetings that do not need to be held will not be held.  

 

While not required, a proposed policy for the conduct of remote participation meetings will be considered for adoption at the March 23, 2020, meeting and is included in the updated (republished) City Commission packet online at http://www.traversecitymi.gov 

 

City Commission meetings will continue to be broadcast live on Cable Channel 191 and will be streamed live at:  https://www.tacm.tv/govtvnow.asp  There will be no video of members of the City Commission, key city staff or other participants in the meeting.  Rather, there will solely be audio.   For members of the City Commission and key city staff, their name (as well as a photo) will appear on screen when they are speaking.  

 

For individuals who may wish to give public comment, the method for providing public comment during these remote-participation meetings is to call: 312-626-6799 and enter the meeting ID (the meeting ID for the March 23, 2020, City Commission Special Meeting is 173-398-401 and the Participant ID is #).  Callers wishing to give public comment may call in before the meeting starts and wait in a “virtual waiting room.”  Going forward, the call-in number and participant ID to give public comment will remain the same; however, the meeting ID will change with each meeting).   These instructions will be included in every official published agenda of the City Commission.  Those calling in will be able to hear the audio of the City Commission meeting, yet their microphone will be muted.  (Please note, that for a brief period of time, when calling in, the callers full telephone number may be visible for those using the Zoom platform.   We will endeavor to manually, yet as quickly as possible, alter what is visible to just the last four digits of the caller’s telephone number.)  

 

When the Commission accepts public comment, in the order calls were received, the City Clerk will identify the caller by the last four digits of their telephone number and ask them if they would like to make a comment.   While not required, but so we do not have to go through an unnecessarily long list of callers, we ask, if possible, that those who do not wish to give public comment refrain from calling in and instead listen to the meeting online at: https://www.tacm.tv/govtvnow.asp  or on Cable Channel 191.

 

For remote participation Regular Meetings of the City Commission, City Clerk Benjamin Marentette will be recommending to the City Commission they accept public comment at the very beginning of the meeting, so that the Commission and listeners will have the benefit of public comment before actions are taken but to not accept public comment during agenda items while we are in remote-participation mode.

 

Finally, because the members of the City Commission and key staff participants will not be visible, Mayor Jim Carruthers will call the meetings to order and then the City Clerk will be facilitating the meeting and will call on individual members of the City Commission and staff participants to speak who “virtually raise their hand,” which will occur through the Zoom platform managed by the City Clerk and the Co-Host.

 

The City of Traverse City wants to express great appreciation to its transparency partner LIAA the operator of Cable Channel 191 and UpNorth Media who have provided substantial assistance as we have identified a practical way to conduct City Commission meetings remotely during this time.   

 

As previously stated by City Manager Marty Colburn, the City of Traverse City continues its strong commitment to providing essential services to the community.  We appreciate the understanding of our neighbors as we implement special measures to protect the health of the public, our City Commission and other boards and city staff.  

 

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by Benjamin Marentette
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Grand Traverse County COVID-19 Community Update - March 18, 2020

Prepared by Benjamin Marentette

No Grand Traverse County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (there are 31 Grand Traverse County residents who have been tested, two tests came back negative and 29 results are pending). Michigan currently has 65 positive cases and 0 deaths.  An update on the number of cases in Michigan is updated daily at 2 p.m. at this website: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163-520743--,00.html 

A group of key public communications professionals, as part of the Grand Traverse County Joint Information Center, is developing a comprehensive website to provide resources and clear messaging.   This website should be live within a few days.   

Restaurants and other food service establishments are required to adhere to robust, precise sanitary and cleanliness standards and customers should be assured of that.  

For job seekers and employers needing employees, Pure Michigan’s Talent Connect is a space to both find employment and employees.   Visit: https://www.mitalent.org/    For those who need to apply for unemployment benefits, they may do so online at the following link:  https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-78421_97241---,00.html

While the State of Michigan is providing valuable support services, the Grand Traverse County community organizations are also working together to ensure our residents make it through this situation together locally. Grand Traverse County Emergency Management is assisting with supply chain management to ensure backup medical supplies to protect emergency first responders are secured.   

It is critical that people not hoard food, creating an unnecessary shortage. Food and water are available in the community and will continue to be through grocery stores and other suppliers.  

For individuals who are able to volunteer to help the community meet various needs, United Way of Northwest Michigan has launched a website where you can step forward to volunteer; background checks will be conducted and once completed, United Way will connect volunteers with opportunities.  See this link: https://www.unitedwaynwmi.org/covid-19

The Grand Traverse County Senior Center Network has connected with at-risk senior citizens.  Meals are being delivered. A focused team is meeting today to identify additional options and needs, with phone calls being made to the most at-risk senior citizens.  

For the population experiencing homelesness, an additional tent is being set up in the parking lot at Wellington Street to help provide additional capacity, necessary because physical distancing is recommended to prevent spread of illness.   The gymnasium at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis is in near-complete process for being established as a backup location.



BASIC PREVENTION MEASURES FROM THE CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

● Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

● Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

● Avoid contact with people who are sick.

● If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

● Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.

● Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at gtchd.org , at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus , and CDC.gov/Coronavirus .

Schools in the five-county Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) region have released food service schedules and distribution plans in order to ensure that students who rely on schools for healthy meals continue to receive services during the state-ordered school closure.For a complete list of food services provided by area schools within TBAISD five-county region, visit: tinyurl.com/regionalschoolfoodservice .*

* Please contact your local school or nearest distribution center for the most up-to-date information.

Grand Traverse County COVID-19 Community Update - March 16, 2020

____________________________________________________________________________

Area Schools Release Continuing Food Service Schedules

TRAVERSE CITY - Schools in the five-county Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) region have released food service

schedules and distribution plans in order to ensure that students who rely on schools for healthy meals continue to receive services during the

state-ordered school closure. Hours of operation and distribution plans vary by school. Food distribution locations and options include:

 

Traverse City Area Public Schools

Offering: Breakfast and Lunch

Services Begin: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Distribution Center Locations/Hours:

- Blair Elementary School (1625 Sawyer Road), 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

- Traverse Heights Elementary School (933 Rose Street), 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

- East Middle School (1776 Three Mile Road), 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

- Long Lake Elementary School (7600 North Long Lake Road), 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Kingsley Area Schools

Offering: Breakfast and Lunch

Services Begin: Monday, March 16, 2020

Distribution Center Locations/Hours:

- Hannah St. Mary's ( 2912 M-113) , 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

- Kingsley Methodist Church ( 113 Blair Street) , 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

- Home Delivery - Contact School Directly

 

Benzie Central Schools

Offering: Breakfast and Lunch

Services Begin: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Distribution Center Locations/Hours:

- Home Delivery - Contact School Directly

 

Kalkaska Public Schools

Offering: Breakfast and Lunch

Services Begin: Monday, March 16, 2020

Distribution Center Locations/Hours:

- Kalkaska High School ( 109 N Birch St)

- Bus Stops - Contact School Directly

 

For a complete list of food services provided by area schools within TBAISD five-county region, visit: tinyurl.com/regionalschoolfoodservice .*

* Please contact your local school or nearest distribution center for the most up-to-date information.

___________________________________________________________________

 

BASIC PREVENTION MEASURES:

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

● Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

● Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

● Avoid contact with people who are sick.

● If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

● Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.

● Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at gtchd.org , at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus , and

CDC.gov/Coronavirus .

###

by Katelyn Zeits
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Media Contact:

Ryan Jarvi
(o) 517-335-7666 (c) 517-599-2746

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 16, 2020

AG Nessel Extends Consumer Protection Hotline Operations to Track Price-gouging Complaints Related to COVID-19

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today extended the hours of operation for her Consumer Protection intake team as the number of price-gouging complaints received by her office surges to more than 240 during the state’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Phonelines will be open until 11 p.m. today and Tuesday. The extended hours will be evaluated on a daily basis and continued if necessary to meet demands. (Note: The consumer tip line is generally open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.)

As of 1 p.m. Friday, the Attorney General’s office had received 75 price-gouging complaints related to COVID-19 that were submitted electronically. That number had increased to 181 as of 4 p.m. today.

Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. today, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team had received 60 complaints via phone.

“I will not allow consumers to be taken advantage of during a public emergency,” Nessel said. “I encourage consumers to continue filing complaints with my office so that we can properly investigate these complaints and determine what legal action must be taken.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Sunday to specifically address price-gouging related to COVID-19. That order states the following:

  • No one who has acquired any product from a retailer shall resell that product in this state at a price that is grossly in excess of the purchase price at which they bought the product;
  • No one shall offer for sale or sell any product in this state at a price that is more than 20 percent higher than what the person offered or charged for that product as of March 9, 2020 unless the person demonstrates that the price increase is attributable to an increase in the cost of bringing the product to market;
  • Person means an individual, business or other legal entity;
  • Product means any good, material, emergency supply or consumer food item;
  • These restrictions will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. April 13, 2020 unless circumstances change.

“We are seeing an extremely high volume of calls coming in about price-gouging, and here is my message to those businesses:  I will not hesitate to fully prosecute establishments that are breaking the law and violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act or Gov. Whitmer’s executive order,” Nessel said. “We intend to investigate all consumer reports related to price-gouging during this public emergency, and justice will be delivered swiftly and accordingly.”

In addition to the executive order, retailers may violate the Michigan Consumer Protection Act if they are:

  • Charging the consumer a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold; and
  • Causing coercion and duress as the result of the time and nature of a sales presentation.

Some of the common items that have reportedly been subject to price-gouging include toilet paper, meat, milk, bread, bottled water, face masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies.

Michigan residents are urged to report any violation of the Consumer Protection Act online or by calling 877-765-8388.

Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest public health information is available online at a state website focused on the issue, and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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For more information, visit https://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-47796-521876--,00.html

by Benjamin Marentette
Monday, March 16, 2020

*Updated March 30, 2020 to reflect that City Hall and DPS Offices will be closed to walk-in traffic through at least April 13, 2020** 

Statement from City Clerk Benjamin Marentette regarding city offices at the Governmental Center and Department of Public Services being closed to walk-in traffic through at least April 13, 2020.   A "virtual city hall" will serve customers in the mean time:

In an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19 cases, the Governmental Center at 400 Boardman Avenue and Department of Public Services at 625 Woodmere Avenue and all City of Traverse City Offices located within it will be closed to walk-in traffic starting March 17, 2020, through April 13, 2020.  

 

City of Traverse City Offices located in the Governmental Center will be closed to walk-in

traffic and converted to a “virtual city hall” starting March 17, 2020, through March 30, 2020.  

Several City employees will be working remotely to help protect themselves as well as those

with whom they come in contact by reducing transmission of the coronavirus.    Depending on

circumstances, these dates may be extended.

 

The following City offices are located within the Governmental Center:

 

  1. City Clerk’s Office (231) 922-4480
  2. City Treasurer’s Office (231) 922-4430
  3. City Assessor’s Office (231) 922-4450
  4. City Manager’s Office (231) 922-4440
  5. City Human Resources (231) 922-4481
  6. City Attorney’s Office (231) 922-4405
  7. City Engineering Department (231) 922-4456
  8. City Planning Department (231) 922-4778
  9. City GIS  (231) 922-4410

While these offices will be closed to the public, telephone calls and emails will be answered

between the hours of 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday, excluding 12p-1p for some

departments.   If a voicemail is left, messages will be promptly returned.   Additionally, staff in

these departments will be reachable via email.   In cases where a physical appointment is

necessary, arrangements for such an appointment may be made by telephone or email.   Visit

http://www.traversecitymi.gov  for more information.

 

For Planning and Zoning Permits, please reach out to:

 

Dave Weston

Planning and Zoning Administrator

(231) 922-4464  dweston@traversecitymi.gov

 

For Engineering Department permits, please reach out to:

 

John McWethy

Public Services Assistant

City of Traverse City

(231) 922-4467  jmcwethy@traversecitymi.gov

 

Most licenses and permits are handled by the City Clerk’s Office – for all other licenses and

permits, please reach out to:

 

Alanna Crouch

City Clerk’s Administrative Specialist

(231) 922-4480  acrouch@traversecitymi.gov

 

Payments owed to the City will not be accepted in person but can be mailed to: 

 

City Treasurer’s Office

P.O. Box 592

Traverse City, MI 49685-0592

 

Alternatively, payments can be dropped off in the payment drop box as you exit the

Governmental Center Driveway.  A credit card payment can be made over the phone by calling (231) 922-4430.

Payments for a variety of services can also be processed

online and anyone can sign up to have their monthly utility payments automatically paid from

their checking or savings account by visiting the following link:  

http://www.traversecitymi.gov/paybills.asp 

 

The City of Traverse City is committed to providing essential services to our residents during this time as well as other key services to the community.   We appreciate your understanding and support as we take steps, like those outlined here, to keep each other safe and healthy.

 

by Benjamin Marentette
Monday, March 16, 2020

Statement from City Clerk Benjamin Marentette:

This evening’s City Commission meeting will be held (see the media release from yesterday, attached, indicating preventative measures people can take to view and participate in Commission meetings without spreading COVID-19).   While the meeting will be held, in an effort to minimize the amount of business that is necessary to be conducted at the City Commission meeting this evening and due to the fact that two members of the Commission will not be present this evening, the following items will be removed from the agenda at the beginning of the meeting:

 

  1. Item B-4 (amendment to the agreement with TC Paddle, LLC, to extend its agreement through the 2020 season and allow  for the use of American Legion Park, if necessary, because of construction) – rescheduled for April 6, 2020
  2. Item B-9 (scheduling two separate public hearings for two separate grant application requests to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund) – rescheduled for March 23, 2020
  3. Item C-3 (introducing ordinance amendments to disallow vacation home rentals in certain districts) – rescheduled for April 6, 2020.
  4. Item C-4 (authorizing various actions for the purchase of 115 Pine Street for the purpose of constructing a 58’-tall public parking structure) – rescheduled for April 6, 2020
  5. Item E-2 (authorizing the placement of the city’s winter 2020-2021 salt order) – rescheduled for March 23, 2020.

Finally, the city will be evaluating which public board and committee meetings must take place in order to carry on essential, key government functions.   Expect a number of meetings to be canceled in the coming weeks.   

 

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by Benjamin Marentette
Sunday, March 15, 2020

Statement from City Clerk Benjamin Marentette:

It is critical that we, as a community, take precautionary, preventative steps to slow the pace of the development of new COVID-19 cases so that we reduce the risk of overwhelming our healthcare system.   It’s also vital that we take these steps to reduce the spread of the virus and disease to those most vulnerable.   While City Commission meetings will continue to be held for the time being, including the Monday, March 16, 2020, Regular Meeting, we ask that you consider the following:

 

  1. While you are welcome to attend the meeting, as a preventative measure, we strongly encourage you to view the live audio stream of the City Commission meeting at: tacm.tv   You can also view the meeting on Cable Channel 191.
  2. If you are listening to the live stream of the City Commission meeting and wish to make either a general public comment on a specific agenda item as it is being heard, please submit your comment, limited to 750 words or less, to the City Clerk at tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov    We will endeavor to read your comment during the meeting, into the record, but some comments may not be read due to time limitations.   Comments received after the agenda item will be made part of the record and will be shared with the full City Commission.  
  3. If you have a comment or thoughts you would like to share regarding items on the agenda or general city business, but do not want it read at the meeting, as always, please send an email to the City Clerk at tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov and indicate you do not wish your comments to be read at the meeting but rather to be entered into the record.
  4. If you do attend the City Commission meeting in person, we will ask that you maintain the proper amount of social distancing (which is a 6-foot distance between yourself and other individuals).

 

The City of Traverse City respectfully stresses that these suggestions are in no way meant to stifle or limit public engagement and input on city issues but rather to try to assist in preventing further COVID-19 cases.   We appreciate your consideration and welcome the opportunity to serve you.

by Benjamin Marentette
Saturday, March 14, 2020
harvard_covid_19.jpg

Regarding COVID-19, several key community stakeholders are developing a strategy to address the issue, to the greatest extent possible. A Joint Operation Center (JIC) has been stablished that includes key stakeholders. The JIC will provide a cohesive source of information and a single plan for mitigating the Coronavirus.

In the mean time, here is a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's page which provides important information, including how to protect yourself; what to do if you are at higher risk; symptoms for detection, etc. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/…/prevention.html…

Finally, it is critical, as a community, that we take protective measures to slow the development of new COVID-19 cases and reduce the risk of overwhelming the health care system. The graph below, developed by Harvard Medical School, illustrates this important point.

by Katelyn Zeits
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

In preparation for the 2020 Census, the state of Michigan has launched a new website to provide information and resources to Michiganders.

Live as of Tuesday, Jan. 14, the website will be available throughout the census-taking season so residents can have their questions answered, keep up to date on the latest census news and obtain a better understanding about the importance of the census. The website includes a list of frequently asked questions and an interactive map of hard to reach areas, among other things.

To find more resources about the census or to get involved, go to www.michigan.gov/census2020.

The website is one piece of a larger effort to ensure that every Michigander is counted. In particular, the "Count Me In" campaign seeks to let Michigan residents know that responding to the census this year is convenient, confidential and critical to the future of our state.

Residents can fill out the census in multiple languages online, by phone or on a paper form. All answers are completely confidential.

By law, the data can be collected for statistical purposes only and cannot be used against a person. The Census Bureau cannot share or publish any household-specific census data, even to other government agencies.

Ensuring an accurate count of Michiganders is important because roughly $30 billion in federal funding for public safety, schools, housing, health care, and more, as w​ell as one congressional seat, are at stake for Michigan.

The census count will shape Michigan's social infrastructure for the next decade.

by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, November 8, 2019

With the changing weather and snow falling, overnight parking is no longer permitted on City streets beginning November 16, 2019 until April 15, 2020. 

Please be sure you vehicles are removed from the streets overnight to ensure your vehicle is not towed! 

See Traverse City Code of Ordinance 410.04(d) for further details or contact Traverse City Parking Services at 231-922-0241. 

by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Water Treatment Plant has been working with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to perform testing on the public water supply for the presence of PFAS, which are man- made chemicals used in manufacturing and common household products over the past century. They do not break down and can accumulate over time.

Although testing will continue through October 2019, all samples obtained from Traverse City's Water Treatment Plant have thus far shown no detection of PFAS. (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

MPART, which is the State’s Response Team for PFAS, began statewide sampling of community, school, child care provider and tribal water supplies last year. They continue to actively monitor any sources that showed PFAS levels of 10 parts per trillion or higher.

More information regarding PFAS can be found at: https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/
and also https://www.michigan.gov/egle/0,9429,7-135--504965--,00.html

So the next time you fill your water bottle in Traverse City, you can rest easy knowing that your H20 is PFAS free!