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City Launches Public Facing Interactive Tree Map

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

City of Traverse City Launches Public Facing Interactive Tree Map

Nearly 10,000 street trees inventoried

The City of Traverse City has launched a Public Facing Interactive Tree Map that displays the locations of street trees. The map includes important attributes such as genus, species, height, diameter at breast height (DBH), and other metrics for each individual tree. The dataset will be continually updated and improved as the City plants new trees and removes existing trees due to various circumstances. The City currently maintains a spatial inventory of City trees, and in addition to the street trees map, is working on the inventory of trees in City parks and city owned properties to be incorporated into the interactive map.

This multi-department collaboration between the Department of Public Services, including the Asset Management Division and Parks Division, and the City’s GIS Division, allows staff to make decisions on tree management including plantings, maintenance, and long term planning.

The interactive map allows citizens to obtain information about trees within their neighborhood and the City as a whole, and obtain an understanding of the trees that make up the City’s public spaces. The map also allows citizens another way to report issues by submitting information for further investigation.  Each street tree has been labeled with an identification number. A request may be submitted online by clicking the tree in question, entering the tree ID number, and reporting the issue. The ability for citizens to donate to the tree fund or donate a tribute tree is also available.

The City recognizes the ecological benefits of trees and has developed numerous initiatives to improve its urban tree canopy. In 2018, the Parks and Recreation Division completed the Urban Canopy and Assessment Plan. Since 2017, the City has planted nearly 1,500 trees on-street and in parks. “Improving the City’s urban tree canopy can have numerous benefits, including reducing peak temperatures during the summer months, improving air quality, providing wildlife habitat, and enhancing our neighborhoods. This interactive map will improve the methods in which a tree is monitored. Sharing this critical dataset with the public, will contribute toward maintenance and the future wellness of each tree,” say Parks and Recreation Superintendent Michelle Hunt.

As a Tree City USA for 30 years, the City has now established a “Tree Fund” to help supplement tree planting in addition to funds from the Parks budget, contributions made by the Garage Fund, and private donations.  The interactive map was developed to be simple and intuitive for the general public and will be housed on the City’s website.  The public facing interactive tree map may found at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/0bdea3bc2d194c57a29409903dc120b0/

 

 

City Publishes The Performance 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, January 6, 2022

City of Traverse City Reviews Annual Achievements

Approximately $32 Million in projects outlined in report

The City of Traverse City has released its 2021 annual report, The Performance, which provides insight into major accomplishments and significant projects completed during the past year, and also a glimpse into what’s next. Throughout the report many achievements for the City are highlighted, among many other topics. 

"The City overcame numerous hurdles this past year and yet continued to provide quality municipal services to the residents of Traverse City.  A proactive approach to addressing aging infrastructure

resulted in over $32 million in investment, nearly 10 times above an average year. Once in a lifetime projects such as bridge rehabilitation and sidewalk and trail expansion were accomplished. We are grateful for leadership from the City Commission, our hard working staff, City residents, and our many partners, as we work together for a better a Traverse City,” says City Manager Martin Colburn.

An overview of achievements related to infrastructure improvements, green initiatives, mobility, community enhancements, governance, and public safety are outlined within the report. Strategic Goals developed by the City Commission to tackle in 2020-2021 had specific action steps related to five issues; water related infrastructure, transportation, housing, tax revenue, and economic development.  

The report provides detail on the $32 Million in infrastructure projects managed by the City in 2021. Highlights include the City’s Bridge Rehabilitation Project where three bridges were completed in 5 months. Nearly $2 Million was invested into water and sewer upgrades and a project plan was adopted for future upgrades and investment.  Projects relating to water protection included a collaboration with The Watershed Center to restore Kids Creek. The project is working toward removing Kids Creek from the State of Michigan’s Impaired Water List.

Improving the mobility network throughout the City, a multiyear sidewalk and trail expansion project wrapped up with a total of approximately $8 Million in investment and 20.37 miles of sidewalk and trail improvements. After many years of planning and collaboration between local, state, and federal networks of government and nonprofits, the Boardman Lake Loop Trail was authorized for completion between 14th Street and Medalie Park. Lastly, a number of initiatives were approved and executed to address affordable housing needs within the City for all ages and income level.

"Serving our great community is an honor as we strive for municipal improvements that contribute to the health of our region economically and environmentally. 2021 was a year of major investment into critical infrastructure and projects that support our quality of life within the City. We look forward to a strong 2022 that is built on shared ideals for our community and a solid foundation of financial security," says Traverse City Mayor Richard Lewis. 

While The Performance serves as a progress report for the City’s past year, each individual department will present their annual reports to the City Commission with greater detail in the upcoming months. 

To learn more and view the full report, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/downloads/the_performance_2021.pdf

 

 

Staff Appreciation Week

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, December 20, 2021

City of Traverse City Staff Appreciation Week
City Offices at the Governmental closed during holiday break

A proposal for Staff Appreciation Week was approved by the City Commission at their October 22, 2021 meeting for staff of the City of Traverse City. The Downtown Development Authority Board and Traverse City Light and Power Board supported a Staff Appreciation Week for the employees of their organizations. The proposal was initiated by Mayor Pro Tem Amy Shamroe as an appreciation to staff, and stated “It’s important to provide an additional opportunity for employees to pause after the past year and a half of more-intensive service delivery., In the midst of the challenges brought by the pandemic, our staff was able to innovate and maintain municipal services seamlessly in a time of great uncertainty and stress for those we serve. They performed gracefully and professionally."

Employees currently receive major holidays off and were given an additional three days (December 27- 29) off during the 2021/2022 holiday break. Operations at City Offices at the Governmental Center will close beginning December 23, 2021 and reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022 at 8 am. In an effort to accommodate utility and tax payments, the City Treasurer’s Office will maintain office hours on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 from 8 am to 5 pm. Payment options are also available online at traversecitymi.gov/paybills.asp. Grand Traverse County operations within the Governmental Center will remain open on December 27, 28, and 29, 2021. Employees whose functions require them to work all or a portion of these days will have until June 30, 2022, to enjoy this additional paid time off.

City Opposes House Bill 4722

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, December 9, 2021

House Bill 4722 Opposition

The City’s opposition relates to municipal zoning regulation and affordable housing

Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation that would create a one-size-fits all law regulating short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. House Bill 4722 would restrict how Michigan communities regulate short-term rental properties by allowing 30% of homes in a community to be used as a permanent vacation rental. In other words, allowing for a conversion of 1 in 3 homes within the City of Traverse City. In 2021, the City has issued a total of 252 Vacation Home Rental and Tourist Home Rental Licenses, resulting in less than 4% of the housing stock within the City.  House Bill 4722, would allow nearly 2040 of the approximately 6,800 dwellings within the City be permanently short-term rented. In direct relation to housing needs, the City has expressed opposition to the Bill due to the local control on zoning regulations being lifted.

The City of Traverse City has developed zoning regulations that allow for short-term rentals, the Vacation Home Rental program and the Tourist Home Rental program. Vacation Home Rental licenses are issued in districts that are not zoned residential. The Tourist Home Rental licenses are issued in residential zoned districts and require the homeowner be present when renting a room.

"The City has carefully crafted zoning regulations in an effort to create a balance with short-term rentals through their Vacation Home Rental and Tourist Home Rental ordinances. As the City is strategically focused on zoning amendments to remove barriers to affordable housing opportunities, I have no doubts that HB 4722 will have a negative impact and drive housing affordability and availability to be unattainable by residents wanting to live here year round," says City Planner Shawn Winter. 

Mayor Richard Lewis states, "Because Traverse City is unique in character and has long been a destination to millions of visitors annually, HB 4722 would have a negative impact on our community. Losing the ability to regulate zoning will impact the character of neighborhoods and further contribute to unaffordable housing for individuals and families who wish to live within the City of Traverse City. Furthermore, fewer families living within the City will impact our public schools and could have long term negative impacts on our public school system. Therefore, it is critical that control on zoning as it relates to short-term rentals is kept with each municipality.” 

House Bill 4722 was approved by the State House on Oct. 27. The State Senate is expected to take up the bill soon. Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact Senator Wayne Schmidt to voice their opinion.  

100% Accuracy in Post Election Audit

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Audit of Election Equipment and Conduct of City of Traverse City’s November 2021 Election

On December 8, 2021, an extensive audit of the Traverse City City Commission election of
November 2, 2021, was conducted as randomly-selected by the Department of State. The audit
included analysis and examination of documents and procedures used by the City Clerk’s team 
leading up to the election and the procedures and documentation from a randomly-selected
voting precinct, which was City of Traverse City Precinct 3, as well as the Absent Voter
Counting Board for Precinct 3.


Importantly, the independent audit, conducted in accordance with Department of State
regulations, also included a hand count of the vote totals in a randomly-selected race, which
confirmed that it matched 100% with the reported results.

One of City Clerk Benjamin Marentette’s areas of responsibility is planning, managing and
overseeing all aspects of federal, state and local elections within Traverse City. Marentette
noted, “At the center of all of our team discussions is ensuring Michigan’s elections – the entire
apparatus – is rooted in practice that cements voter confidence. Conducting random audits such
as this one is key to ensuring we have elections where everyone knows that their vote will count.
Having a post-election audit is another important way to police our elections. ... and of course,
I am very pleased that the audit of one of Traverse City’s voting precincts demonstrates the
professionalism and tenacity of the election team’s commitment to excellence.”

Marentette added, "We are pleased that the City of Traverse City's post-election audit resulted in
100% accuracy in the randomly chosen Precinct 3. During election day we have approximately 60 high-caliber individuals powering democracy at all of our precincts. The teams  under the leadership of Susan Fisher at Precinct 3 and the team under the leadership of Nicole VanNess in the Absentee Voting Counting Board, were exemplary in their work. We are grateful to have individuals in our community that care about the democratic process. Furthermore, I am proud of the permanent and interim team in the City's Clerk's Office for their great work leading up to election day."

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele, with decades of professional election
administration experience, 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.”

Scheele added, “Additionally, immediately following the election, our Board of Canvassers
conducted its level of review and verification of the election procedures and results; and
following that, the election audit triple-confirmed the results.”

Sidewalk Snow Removal Responsibilities

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, December 6, 2021

Sidewalk Snow Removal Responsibility

Keep Your Sidewalk Accessible for Everyone

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.

Accessibility for All
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.

Safety for Our First Responders
Uncleared pathways make access difficult for firefighters and paramedics in cases of emergency. Assisting Public Services The City's Department of Publics Services helps in clearing snow from sidewalks throughout the winter season, however, please remember their priorities are primary corridors and sidewalks proximate to schools. DPS does not have the capacity to remove snow 24/7 and subsequent
snowfall may accumulate between plowing efforts and shift times. When residents promptly clear
snow and ice, they play a crucial role in keeping Traverse City moving.

It's the Law
As a reminder, under City Ordinance 668.11, the removal of snow and ice from private property and the sidewalk abutting or crossing private property shall be the responsibility of the occupant of such private property. 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, (231) 922-4414.

Grant Awarded to Secure Hickory Forest Natural Area

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, December 3, 2021

Grant Awarded to Secure Hickory Forest Natural Area

The City of Traverse City is pleased to announce that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) board approved a $467,600 grant for the proposed Hickory Forest Natural Area, ensuring the permanent protection of the nearly 80 acre woodland. The required matching dollars for the Trust Fund grant were secured when the voters in the City of Traverse City and Charter Township of Garfield overwhelmingly approved an operating millage for the Joint Recreational Authority in November 2020.  Hickory Forest Natural Area will further expand the public natural area at Hickory Hills and Hickory Meadows for land preservation and passive recreational use. 

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conversancy, which has worked to protect the land is developing a management plan for the significant parcel, which will soon be owned by the Recreational Authority and enjoyed by all.

In 2020, an opportunity arose to acquire and preserve additional property next to Hickory Hills and Hickory Meadows. A millage request to the citizens of the City of Traverse City and Charter Township of Garfield passed in November 2020 and provided the Recreational Authority the capacity to pursue grant funds and provide matching dollars for the public purchase of the property and its subsequent management and care, balancing the inherent conservation values of the property with passive recreational use.

The mileage request provided local matching fund for the purchase of Hickory Forest, an 80-acre natural woodland that

  • Provide funding to leverage further the preservation, renovation, and maintenance needs for the two barns at Historic Barns Park. 
  • Support fundraising efforts at Historic Barns Park by providing assurance to donors that the Rec Authority will continue its mission beyond 2024. 
  • Ensure the ability of the Rec Authority to continue operations beyond the expiration of its current operating millage in 2024.

Background

2003 – The City of Traverse City and Charter Township of Garfield Recreational Authority (Rec Authority) incorporated through joint action of Traverse City (City) and Garfield Charter Township (Township). 2004 – Electorate of City and Township approved 20-year Operating and Debt Service millages by 3-1 margin for the acquisition and preservation of three properties: 

  • West Bay Waterfront – Purchase of a 0.5-acre parcel on West Grand Traverse Bay and the demolition/reclamation of the building and property to complete the public Open Space on the waterfront; 
  • Hickory Meadows – Purchase of a 112-acre parcel adjoining City-owned parkland (Hickory Hills to the west) for passive public recreation; and 
  • Historic Barns Park – A 56-acre parcel transferred to the Rec Authority focusing on preservation action around two large historic barns.

2005-2017 – Through partnerships and community support, goals and objectives achieved: 

Historic Barns Park reborn as a community hub for gardening, education, events and outdoor recreation; 

  • Hickory Meadows is open space with fields, forests and trails for hiking and cross country skiing. Recently partnered with City in redevelopment of adjacent Hickory Hills; and 
  • West Bay Waterfront is incorporated open space with adjacent City parkland along West Grand Traverse Bay. 2018 – Public visioning process undertaken through Beckett & Raeder to determine next steps for consideration by the Rec Authority (see the 2019 Public Visioning Report on the Rec Authority’s website at www.recauthority.org). Outcome of visioning process in broad terms: 
  • Finish what was started, especially regarding the preservation and use of facilities at the Historic Barns Park; 
  • Be open to possibilities of acquisition of new park properties; and 
  • Maintain fiscal stability in the operation of the Rec Authority by requesting a new 20-year Operating Millage sooner than the current 2024 expiration to assure continuation and continuity of services.

Fall Leaf Pick Up Program Concludes

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, December 2, 2021

Fall Loose Leaf Pick Up Has Concluded

Please do not place leaves in the street. Placing leaves in the street, along curbs, and storm drands can have negative impacts throughout the winter. 

RecycleSmart’s Brush Drop-Off Site on Keystone Road will close for the season on Saturday, December 4th. Please note, if there is more than 4" of snow on the ground, the site will be closed.

Transmission Line Maintenance

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, November 29, 2021

Traverse City Light & Power’s tree contractor, Asplundh Tree Expert Co. will be performing vegetation line clearance work starting on Monday, December 6, 2021 along the railroad corridor from Barlow Street to Airport Access Road in preparation for the transmission line upgrade project planned to begin in April 2022. The work is expected to be completed by Friday, December 31, 2021.

The upgrade project will involve rebuilding 2.71 miles of existing electric transmission line to improve capacity and increase grid reliability. TCL&P will be bringing the right-of-way back to industry standard clearances in order to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the utility lines. This matches up with TCL&P’s goals as a community owned utility to provide affordable and reliable electric service.  

For a map of the project area and project updates, see the “Our Community” section of the L&P website at www.tclp.org.

This work will create a minimal level of noise and cause some inconvenience. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Please contact Mark Watson, Field Engineering Supervisor, at 231-932-4564 if you have any questions or concerns about the work or schedule.

 

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Traverse City Light & Power

1131 Hastings Street

Traverse City, MI 49686

24- Hour Dispatch: 231-922-4940

Accounts & Billing: 231-922-4431

Grandview Parkway Reconstruction Public Meetings

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, November 22, 2021

CONTACT: James Lake, MDOT Office of Communications

                  906-250-0993
                  LakeJ1@Michigan.gov


Virtual and in-person public meetings scheduled to discuss 2023 US-31/M-72/M-37/Grandview Parkway rebuilding
 

WHAT:

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has scheduled both a virtual public meeting and an in-person open house to discuss current plans to rebuild a section of US-31/M-72/M-37 (Grandview Parkway) in Traverse City from South Garfield Avenue to Division Street in 2023. The meetings will include presentations about the current plans for the project, followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

Virtual attendance is encouraged. Capacity for the in-person event is limited to 49 people.

WHO:

MDOT Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC) staff

Staff from AECOM, the project consultant

Interested residents, commuters, and business owners                     

 

WHEN and WHERE:

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

5 – 7 p.m.

Microsoft Teams virtual public meeting

To join by phone without using Internet, call 616-512-3275

Conference ID: 852 521 379#

How to attend a Teams public meeting

 

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

5 – 7 p.m.

MDOT Traverse City TSC

2084 US-31

Traverse City, MI 49685

           

Accommodations can be made for persons who require mobility, visual, hearing, written, or other assistance for participation. Large print materials, auxiliary aids or the services of interpreters, signers, or readers are available upon request. Please contact Orlando Curry at 517-335-4381 or complete Form 2658 for American Sign Language (ASL) located on the Title VI webpage: www.Michigan.gov/MDOT/0,4616,7-151-9621_31783---,00.html. Requests should be made at least five days prior to the meeting date. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodation or an effective alternative, but accommodations may not be guaranteed.

           

BACKGROUND:

In addition to complete removal and replacement of the existing pavement in this corridor, MDOT is working with the city to coordinate replacement of underground utilities during construction. This project will include operational improvements at the intersections of Division Street, Hall Street, Park Street, Front Street, and Peninsula Drive; drainage improvements; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) review and upgrades; repairs to the Murchie Bridge over the Boardman River; and new signs and pavement markings. Additionally, the project will improve safety at several intersections for all users of the highway, helping to make crossings more convenient and comfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists.

MDOT is planning to add a pedestrian crossing at Peninsula Drive with an island refuge and wider sidewalks; add a pedestrian crossing and improving geometry at Front Street; improve the pedestrian crossing at Division Street; and partner with TART and the city to accommodate extending the trail to the east (Sunset Park, Hagerty Center and Senior Center) and widen where possible.

MDOT is working with the city to develop a plan to redirect and maintain traffic during construction, and schedule work to minimize disruption to the National Cherry Festival.

E. Eighth Street Bridge Open to Vehicular Traffic

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, November 19, 2021

Bridge Update

E. Eighth Street Bridge Opens to Pedestrian and Vehicular Traffic

 

The City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. Bridge work was bundled to attract bridge contractors to bid on the project, drive competitive pricing and complete in the shortest amount of time possible.   The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

The E. Eighth Street Bridge is expected to be open by the end of the day Friday, November 19th.  The installation of the architectural fascia panels will require a bridge closure for 1-2 weeks once the materials are delivered. Communication will be provided in advance of the closure.  

Work has been completed to reopen the S. Cass Street Bridge to traffic. Work to strengthen the temporary wood railing is expected to be complete after November 29th as materials are delivered and work crews are available. Once the temporary wood railing is complete, the sidewalk will be open for pedestrian use. Pedestrians will continue to use the shoulder, while the bridge sidewalk remains closed.  Work to strengthen the temporary wood railing is expected to be complete after November 29th as materials are delivered and work crews are available. Once the temporary wood railing is complete, the sidewalk will be open for pedestrian use. The temporary railings will be replaced by the permanent railings once materials are delivered which is expected to occur in December.  

Work has resumed on the W. Front Street Bridge after a brief delay relating to protection of the active phone lines. The contractor will be finishing demolition and beginning cofferdam work over the next couple of weeks.

The Park Street, S. Cass Street, and E. Eighth Street Bridges are all open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic at this time. However, when work is being completed, the bridges will be active construction zones and pedestrian detours should be followed. Entering work sites demands caution and concern for the safety of the workers and to not interfere with their activities so the remaining work can be completed efficiently. 

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

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Monitoring Services of the Union Street Dam to Begin

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, November 19, 2021

Contracted Consultant Monitoring Services of the Union Street Dam to Begin  

Monitoring necessary due to a recent MDEQ downgrade of dam condition

Beginning Monday, November 22, 2021, the City of Traverse City will have monitoring services conducted of the Union Street Dam.  A required MDEQ Dam Safety Unit inspection was recently performed and indicated a downgraded rating from Good to Fair/Poor condition. The Michigan Dam Safety Unit inspected the Union Street Dam on May 27, 2021 and recommended several maintenance activities and investigatory tasks in their June 18, 2021 inspection report.

The City of Traverse City has been permitted through a Joint Permit Application process with the USACOE and MDEQ for the replacement of the Union Street Dam. Due to unexpected delays, because of the litigation against the city in connection with the FishPass Project, the City has contracted with AECOM to perform monitoring services at the Union Street Dam. The scope of work is as follows; 

  • Establishing a topographic survey and survey monuments on the dam
  • Investigating slope stability and seepage and monitor piezometer levels
  • Evaluating spillway capacity
  • Evaluating and planning for tree removal
  • Monitoring and developing sheet pile Gap Closure
  • Monitoring and plan for repair of Concrete surfaces
  • Inspecting submerged portions of the dam through dive/video inspections
  • Updating the project operations and maintenance plan
  • Conducting two (4) quarterly inspections of the dam and project structures; including survey of monuments

“While the planned FishPass Project is on hold, to continue to maintain public safety, it is necessary to provide services to monitor the condition of the Union Street Dam,” says City Manager Marty Colburn

Initial work will include surveyors and engineers onsite to measure, document and photograph the site. Additional work will set reference monuments with hand tools on existing structures. The geotechnical "slope stability" component of this work will require a drilling equipment truck and vehicles on-site to facilitate the installation of water level monitoring devices. Future monitoring will include specially trained divers, who will conduct an underwater dive to inspect subsurface components of the dam.

The monitoring work will enable reproducible measurements which when compared can indicate any change or movement in the conditions of the dam.

Project Updates:

December 3, 2021: Pedestrain access has opened to the Union Street Dam area.

November 29, 2021: Mobilization for sampling and monitoring will begin on Monday, November 29th. A drill rig and and additional equipment will be onsite to perform the work.

The pedestrian route across the bridge on the dam will be obstructed for 5-7 days while the equipment is onsite and work is being performed. Pedestrians should utilize the Union Street Bridge as an alternative route.

Mayor & City Commissioners Take Oath of Office

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Mayor and City Commissioners take Oath of Office

Mayor Pro Tem Selected & Appointments made to Boards and Committees

At the City Commission’s Organizational Meeting on November 8, 2021, City Clerk Benjamin Marentette swore in Mi Stanley, Mitchell Treadwell, Mark Wilson and Tim Werner as City Commissioners and Richard Lewis as Mayor. The Mayor and Commission officially assumed their offices upon taking the Oath of Office.

Following the Swearing-in Ceremony, the City Commission selected Amy Shamroe to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for a two-year term. The City Commission then made various appointments to boards and also form nomination (ad hoc) committees to make recommendations on various citizen appointments to boards. The appointments are as follows;

 

  • Appointment of Jim Tuller to a two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 as an administrative official to serve on the City Planning Commission
  • Appointment of Commissioner Wilson and Commissioner Treadwell to a one-year term expiring November 14, 2022 on the City Planning Commission
  • Appointment of Commissioner Walter to an ad hoc interview committee to make a recommendation regarding two Mayoral appointments to the Planning Commission
  • Appointment of Commissioner Stanley as a City Commissioner Representative on the Grand Traverse County Economic Development Corporation with a term expiring December 31, 2027, subject to approval by the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners
  • Appointment of Mayor Lewis, Mayor Pro Tem Shamroe and Commissioner Walter to an ad hoc interview committee to make a recommendation regarding a Mayoral appointment to the Downtown Development Authority Board of Trustees
  • Appointment of Mayor Pro Tem Shamroe as a City Commissioner Representative on the Traverse Connect Board of Directors, subject to approval by the Traverse Connect Board of Directors
  • Appointment of Commissioner Stanley to a term expiring November 13, 2023, with Commissioner Werner as an alternate member, on the NEXT Michigan Corporation Board
  • Appointment Mayor Pro Tem Shamroe and Commissioner Werner to two-year terms expiring November 13, 2023 on the Traverse City Light and Power Board
  • Appointment of Commissioner Walter to a term expiring November 11, 2024 on the Traverse City Arts Commission
  • Appointment of Commissioner Walter, Commissioner Treadwell and Commissioner Wilson to an ad hoc committee to make a recommendation regarding six appointments to the Brown Bridge Advisory Committee
  • Appointment of Mayor Pro Tem Shamroe, Commissioner Stanley and Commissioner Werner to an ad hoc committee to make a recommendation regarding one appointments to the Coast Guard City Committee
  • Appointment of Commissioner Walter, with Commissioner Wilson as an alternate member, to a term expiring November 13, 2023 on the Traverse Transportation Coordinating Initiative
  • Appointment of Mayor Lewis to a two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 on the Grand Traverse County Township Association
  • Appointment of Commissioner Wilson to a term expiring November 14, 2022 on the Grand Traverse County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee

 

The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the municipal corporation’s “board of directors.”   Very broadly speaking, the functions of the City Commission for the City of Traverse City are to: 

  • Set public policy for the city through ordinances and other official actions
  • Allocate public funds under the city's control and responsibility, including adoption of the City Budget
  • Exercise policy oversight of the city's resources
  • Appoint the City Manager and City Attorney; and to maintain a system of checks and balances, to provide for appropriate separation of duties and autonomy in conducting and performing their official and corporate functions, the City Commission also approves the City Manager's appointment and removal of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer 
  • Appoint individuals to various boards and commissions
  • Exercise other authority and powers granted to it by the Michigan Constitution, Michigan Law, Michigan Promulgated Rules, the City Charter and other authorities

The City Commission consists of six members and the Mayor, all elected at-large (all members of the City Commission represent the entire city, as the city is not broken into "wards" or "districts").  All offices on the City Commission are non-partisan.   The Mayor is elected for a two-year term and Commissioners are elected for four-year terms.  City Commission terms are arranged so that no more than four terms (or "seats") expire every two years.   City Commission elections are held in November of odd years.

As provided by Michigan Law and the City Charter, for ceremonial purposes, the Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city.  The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and has a voice and vote on all matters before the City Commission, but is without veto power.  Along with the City Clerk, the Mayor executes various items by signature where authorized by the City Commission, City Charter and Michigan Law. 

The mission of the Traverse City City Commission is to guide the preservation and development of the City’s infrastructure, services, and planning based on extensive participation by its citizens coupled with the expertise of the city’s staff.  The Commission will both lead and serve Traverse City in developing a vision for sustainability and the future that is rooted in the hopes and input of its citizens and organizations, as well as cooperation from surrounding units of government.

 

 

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Cass Street Bridge Opens to Vehicular & Pedestrian Traffic

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, November 8, 2021

Cass Street Bridge Update

Cass Street Bridge Opens to Pedestrian and Vehicular Traffic

 

The City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. Bridge work was bundled to attract bridge contractors to bid on the project, drive competitive pricing and complete in the shortest amount of time possible.   The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

The City would like to remind pedestrians that each bridge site is an active construction zone and pedestrian detours should be followed. Entering work sites demands caution and concern for the safety of the workers and to not interfere with their activities so the remaining work can be completed efficiently. 

S. Cass Street Bridge Opens to Vehicular, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Traffic

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, November 8, 2021, two travel lanes will open for traffic/bicyclists on the west half of the Cass Street Bridge. Pedestrians will be routed on the easterly side of the vehicular traffic lanes and between construction barrels delineating the path. Painting subcontractors will occupy a portion of the east travel lane and the parking lane to complete applying a protective sealant on a concrete arch.

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction began on June 14, 2021. The project includes bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. The site will remain an active construction zone through mid-December when railing materials are anticipated to arrive.  The City would like to remind pedestrians that each bridge site is an active construction zone and pedestrian detours should be followed. Entering work sites demands caution and concern for the safety of the workers and to not interfere with their activities so the remaining work can be completed efficiently.

Park Street Bridge Completed

The Park Street Bridge construction began on June 2, 2021 and opened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic on September 2, 2021. A short-term closure occurred between Monday, November 1st and Friday, November 5th to finalize necessary items on the bridge such as the installation of end wall caps and bridge and pedestrian railings. The project included the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape were also included in the project. Pedestrian scale lighting will be installed in the near future and may impact traffic.

E. Eighth Street Bridge Anticipated to be Complete in November 2021

Street paving is complete on the E. Eighth Street Bridge. Sidewalk work is on-going and will be completed as possible (weather dependent). Concrete work will take longer due to colder temperatures. Thus, pedestrian/cyclist detour cooperation is needed to ensure the concrete cures correctly. 

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction began on July 26, 2021 and is anticipated to be complete in November 2021. The project includes the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional features incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The site will remain an active construction zone through November. Short-term closures may be implemented if required. The City would like to remind pedestrians that each bridge site is an active construction zone and pedestrian detours should be followed. Entering work sites demands caution and concern for the safety of the workers and to not interfere with their activities so the remaining work can be completed efficiently.

W. Front Street Bridge

The West Front Street bridgework began on September 27, 2021 with anticipated completion in June 2022.   The project will include bridge removal and replacement and an extension of a watermain. Vehicular parking will be maintained along the bridge on the north and south sides. Amenities will include expansion of the sidewalk from the existing 7.5’ width to 11’-17’ in width with a traditional streetscape that includes pedestrian-scale lighting and street trees. Aesthetic treatments on the end walls and a fascia to resemble an arch will also be incorporated.  Vehicular traffic detour signage will be placed in the area. The pedestrian detour will utilize the pedestrian bridge over the Boardman River at Pine Street, to Garland Street, and Hall Street. 

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

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Mayoral & City Commission Swearing in Ceremony

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

November 3, 2021 - City Clerk Benjamin Marentette will swear in Mi Stanley, Mitchell Treadwell, Mark Wilson and Tim Werner as City Commissioners and Richard Lewis as Mayor at the City Commission’s November 8, 2021, Organizational Meeting.   The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and will be held in the Commission Chambers on the second floor of the Governmental Center at 400 Boardman Avenue in Traverse City, Michigan.   They will all officially assume their offices upon taking the Oath of Office.

Following the Swearing-in Ceremony, the City Commission will select one of its members to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for a two-year term; and then the City Commission will make various appointments to boards and also form nomination (ad hoc) committees to make recommendations on various citizen appointments to boards.

The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the municipal corporation’s “board of directors.”   Very broadly speaking, the functions of the City Commission for the City of Traverse City are to: 

  • Set public policy for the city through ordinances and other official actions
  • Allocate public funds under the city's control and responsibility, including adoption of the City Budget
  • Exercise policy oversight of the city's resources
  • Appoint the City Manager and City Attorney; and to maintain a system of checks and balances, to provide for appropriate separation of duties and autonomy in conducting and performing their official and corporate functions, the City Commission also approves the City Manager's appointment and removal of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer 
  • Appoint individuals to various boards and commissions
  • Exercise other authority and powers granted to it by the Michigan Constitution, Michigan Law, Michigan Promulgated Rules, the City Charter and other authorities

The City Commission consists of six members and the Mayor, all elected at-large (all members of the City Commission represent the entire city, as the city is not broken into "wards" or "districts").  All offices on the City Commission are non-partisan.   The Mayor is elected for a two-year term and Commissioners are elected for four-year terms.  City Commission terms are arranged so that no more than four terms (or "seats") expire every two years.   City Commission elections are held in November of odd years.

As provided by Michigan Law and the City Charter, for ceremonial purposes, the Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city.  The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and has a voice and vote on all matters before the City Commission, but is without veto power.  Along with the City Clerk, the Mayor executes various items by signature where authorized by the City Commission, City Charter and Michigan Law. 

The mission of the Traverse City City Commission is to guide the preservation and development of the City’s infrastructure, services, and planning based on extensive participation by its citizens coupled with the expertise of the city’s staff.  The Commission will both lead and serve Traverse City in developing a vision for sustainability and the future that is rooted in the hopes and input of its citizens and organizations, as well as cooperation from surrounding units of government.

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City Bridge Update and Closures

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, October 28, 2021

City Bridgework Update

Park, Cass and Eighth Street Bridges anticipated completion in November 2021!

Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. Bridgework was bundled to attract bridge contractors to bid on the project, drive competitive pricing and complete in the shortest amount of time possible.   The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

Park Street Bridge to Close November 1 – 5, 2021

The Park Street Bridge construction began on June 2, 2021 and opened to vehicular and pedestrian traffic on September 2, 2021. A short-term closure is planned for Monday, November 1st through Friday November 5th to finalize necessary items on the bridge such as the installation of end wall caps and bridge and pedestrian railings.

The project included the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape were also included in the project.

S. Cass Street Bridge Anticipated to be Complete in November 2021

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction began on June 14, 2021 and is anticipated to be complete in mid- November 2021. The project includes bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape.

E. Eighth Street Bridge Anticipated to be Complete in November 2021

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction began on July 26, 2021 and is anticipated to be complete in mid- November 2021. The project includes the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional features incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed.

W. Front Street Bridge

The West Front Street bridgework began on September 27, 2021 with anticipated completion in June 2022.   The project will include bridge removal and replacement and an extension of a watermain. Vehicular parking will be maintained along the bridge on the north and south sides. Amenities will include expansion of the sidewalk from the existing 7.5’ width to 11’-17’ in width with a traditional streetscape that includes pedestrian-scale lighting and street trees. Aesthetic treatments on the end walls and a fascia to resemble an arch will also be incorporated.  Vehicular traffic detour signage will be placed in the area. The pedestrian detour will utilize the pedestrian bridge over the Boardman River at Pine Street, to Garland Street, and Hall Street. 

City staff is coordinating the project with Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) s Traverse City Transportation Service Center and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities and public services, the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA), State and Federal agencies, property owners, and water recreation businesses. The projects are being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($5.2 Million), City Funds ($361,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($680,000), and DDA Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Funds ($681,000). 

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

The City would like to remind pedestrians that each bridge site is an active construction zone and pedestrian detours should be followed. As sidewalks are poured and paving is anticipated in the near future, for safety reasons, pedestrians should not be walking over the bridges.

 

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City Attorney Named President of Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October 27, 2021 - The City of Traverse City is pleased to announce that City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht has been named the 2021-2022 President of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA). Lauren has served as City Attorney since her unanimous appointment by the City Commission in 2011. She attended Kalamazoo College and received her law degree from Wayne State University.

MAMA is a specialized organization that provides a variety of services for municipal attorneys practicing in Michigan in order to provide the best professional legal counsel and advice to their municipal clients. Since its inception, it has provided educational programs and information sharing designed for attorneys in public and private practice who counsel Michigan’s local communities.

Trible-Laucht participated in the Academy of Municipal Attorneys (AMA) and completed the program in 2018. Participation in the AMA involves both an educational component and a practice component to achieve the purposes of the program.  The educational component seeks to train and educate professional municipal attorneys in not only the elements of municipal law, but also to encourage academic and scholarly excellence in municipal law.  The practice component puts in motion the academic component by applying the academic program to effective and competent legal practice.  Additionally, Trible-Laucht recently served as President of the Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Antrim Bar Association.

"Ms.Trible-Laucht has done an exemplary job as City Attorney over the years. We congratulate her on being named President of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, a well-deserved honor that reflects her work ethic. Trible-Laucht’s experience and integrity are perfect for an organization that focuses on municipal education for attorneys," says Mayor Pro Tem Amy Shamroe. 

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Utility Bills Distributed After Delay

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021 - The City of Traverse City/Traverse City Light & Power’s customer utility bill delivery (paper only) has been delayed going back to early September as a result of staffing shortages at third party printing and distribution center. Customers receiving utility bills via email and customers on auto-pay have not been impacted by the delay.

As a result, the City has contracted with a new printing and distribution service center and bills were mailed this week. Please be advised that the utility bill will look slightly different. In addition, customers will most likely receive two utility bills in short succession. To accommodate for this interruption, TCL&P/the City of Traverse City has suspended the calculation of late-payment penalties on utility bills for the time being. We would also like to encourage customers who may have trouble paying utility bills received consecutively to contact the Treasurer's Office to make payment arrangements. Customers can call (231) 922-4431. Shuts off have also been suspended at this time.

“We are disappointed that the distribution of bills has been delayed due to staffing shortages at our third party facility and want to work with our customers to avoid any further interruption. No payment penalties will be calculated and payment arrangements can be made available if a hardship is created due to consecutive utility bills,” says Interim City Treasurer & Finance Director James Henderson.  

Utility Bill Delivery Delay & Updates

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Ocotber 21, 2021 - Customer utilty bills have been mailed by a new vendor. Please see below for further information and note that payment penalties are suspended at this time. We would also like to encourage customers who may have trouble paying utility bills received consecutively to contact the Treasurer's Office to make payment arrangements. Customers can call (231) 922-4431.

October 19, 2021 - Customer Bill Update:  Customer utility bill delivery (paper only) has been delayed going back to early September as a result of staffing shortages at our printing center. Customers receiving utility bills via email and customers on auto-pay have not been impacted by the delay. As a result, the City has contracted with a new printing service center with utility bills expected to be mailed immediately. Please be advised that the utility bill will look slightly different.

October 5, 2021 - Customer utility bill delivery (paper only) has been delayed going back to early September as a result of staffing shortages at our printing center. Customers receiving utility bills via email and customers on auto-pay have not been impacted by the delay. 

To accommodate for this interruption, TCL&P/the City of Traverse City has suspended the calculation of late-payment penalties on utility bills for the time being. We would also like to encourage customers who may have trouble paying utility bills received consecutively to contact the Treasurer's Office to make payment arrangements. Customers can call (231) 922-4431.

"Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest Winners

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

“Future Voter” Sticker Design Contest Winners

The Public Chooses Three Winners for Contest

The City of Traverse City has three winners for the “Future Voter” Sticker Design Contest! The City recently hosted an exciting creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. The City Clerk’s Office launched the contest to search for a unique designs to instill voter pride and excitement within our area youth.

The Contest was open to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Nearly 40 design submissions were received and a panel of judges narrowed the field to six finalists for a public vote. The public vote to select three winners of the finalists ran October 3 - 10, 2021.

Nearly 500 votes were received through the public voting process. The designs with the most votes were created by Ronin Wilson, Hanna Stalmack, and Paige LaMott. Each winner will be honored with a $100 prize.  

“Instilling pride in our future voters will help build lifelong voters who engage in their community and beyond. We are thankful for all the submissions provided by area students and congratulate the winners,” says City Clerk, Benjamin Marentette.

The winning designs will be printed as stickers and distributed to voters on Election Day.

 

City Seeking Holiday Tree

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 11, 2021

October 13, 2021

UPDATE: The City of Traverse City has found a tree for the holiday season. We thank the many individuals who contacted the City.

October 11, 2021

City Seeking Tree for 2021 Holiday Season

Tree on display at the intersection of Cass and East Front Street

The City of Traverse City is seeking a tree for the 2021 holiday season to be on display at the intersection of Cass and East Front Street. The City works with Team Elmer’s to source a tree that is in need of being removed, or at the end of its life, for display each year during the holiday season. The removal of the tree is at no cost to the owner.

Criteria for the tree is to be approximately 30’-40’ in height.  Previous varieties used are Blue Spruce, Norway, or White Spruce. The tree shall be located within a reasonable distance of the City of Traverse City for transportation purposes and be easily accessible by crane on the property.

“The City has had a unique and successful holiday tree program for decades and we are in need of the perfect tree for this season. We have been fortunate to have utilized trees in the past that are in need of removal or at the end of their life and looking to do the same for the 2021 season,” says DPS Director Frank Dituri.

If interested in learning more, please contact the Department of Public Services at (231) 922-4900 x144.

Public Voting Begins for "Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest

by Colleen Paveglio
Sunday, October 3, 2021

October 3, 2021 - The City of Traverse City recently launched a creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. In 2020, the City Clerk’s Office launched an “I Voted” sticker design contest with over 1,300 voters participating in voting for the winning design.  

The “Future Voter” contest was open to  to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Students provided nearly 40 submissions and six finalists were chosen from a panel of judges. A public vote to select the winners of the six finalists will run October 3 - 10, 2021.  The three designs with the top number of votes will win $100 each and be announced at the October 11, 2021 City Commission Meeting.

“The ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest in 2020 was a big success. Traverse City voters continue to proudly display that they exercised their voting rights. Instilling the importance of exercising your right to vote within our youth through this new, Future Voter Sticker Design Contest, will build lifelong citizens that participate in democracy and celebrate civic pride,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE!

 

Sara Hardy Humanitarian Awards Presented October 4, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021 - 

The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission will present the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award on Monday, October 4, 2021. The celebration will take place at the Governmental Center, 400 Boardman Avenue, at 5:30 pm. in the Lower Level Cafeteria, with the award presentation at 7 pm. in the Commission Chambers.

This year’s recipients of the 26th year award are Ryan Hannon, Outreach Coordinator at Goodwill Industries, and Bill and Michelle White, creators of the nonprofit "5 Loaves, 2 Fish".

Hannon has a long history of working with the homeless population in Traverse City. He has helped establish the 86th District Court's Outreach program in 2007 and has long been an advocate for the homeless. Last year's Humanitarian award winner, Tom Bousamra said, in nominating Hannon, "I have witnessed his passionate advocacy for those experiencing homelessness."

Both Bill and Michelle White spent many hours each week planning, preparing and serving meals to those in the area experiencing food insecurity. While others also helped the Whites, the retired couple set the example of getting to know the recipients and making them feel welcome, according to several of the volunteers who nominated them.

“The Traverse City Human Rights Commission appreciates all of the nominations we received for several different nominees. Our local community is fortunate that many people are working on behalf of human rights,” said Susan Odgers, Traverse City Human Rights Commission Chairperson.

Last year’s recipient, Tom Bousamra, will also be recognized during the presentation. Bousamra is the President of Before, During and After Incarceration (BDAI). He's served as a volunteer Catholic chaplain at the Grand Traverse County jail for the past thirty-four years.  He's a current member of the Family Partnership of Grand Traverse, a Deacon at St. Francis Catholic Church and past chair of the St. Francis Peace and Justice Commission.  Bousamra has helped to prepare those incarcerated for re-entry into our community through Life Skills Classes, Coaching/Mentoring programs, and Family Support Dinners. 

Meeting the criteria of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award, this year’s recipients have each made a positive impact on the community.

The Sara Hardy Humanitarian award is given annually in honor of Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, who exemplified the philosophies and ideals of the Human Rights Commission to promote mutual understanding and respect among all people and to discourage discriminatory practices. This award recognizes Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideals.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp.

 

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Cross Connection Control Survey

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021 - The City of Traverse City has contracted with, CCRA, to complete cross connection inspections in a certain percentage of homes, required by the State of Michigan every few weeks. Please see a sample of the communication sent to homeowners.

Cross Connection Inspection Letter

                                     

W. Front Street Bridge Construction

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021 - 

Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

City staff is coordinating the project with MDOT’s Traverse City TSC and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities and public services, DDA, State and Federal agencies, property owners, and water recreation businesses. The projects are being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($5.2 Million), City Funds ($361,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($680,000), and DDA TIF Funds ($681,000).  The rehabilitation of the Park Street, S. Cass Street, and E. Eighth Street bridges were bundled as one package to provide more competitive pricing from contractors that specialize in this type of infrastructure projects. The reconstruction of the W. Front Street Bridge was bid separately.

“As we embark on the fourth bridge project this season, three rehabilitations and one reconstruction, it is important to recognize that these projects are critical to maintaining the City’s major infrastructure. Developing increased amenities into each of the projects such as pedestrian scale lighting and wider sidewalks will make the projects even more attractive for multi-modal transportation methods. We are aware of the inconvenience, but ask the public to please recognize that these infrastructure improvements will serve the community well for decades to come” says City Manager, Martin Colburn. “In addition, staff has worked diligently to prepare for the rehabilitation of the three projects and the reconstruction of the W. Front Street bridge, and bundling the bridges together from a construction standpoint, has provided a project large enough to attract bridge contractors to bid our project and allows us to complete the work in the shortest amount of time possible,” says City Engineer Tim Lodge.

W. Front Street Bridge

Beginning September 17, 2021, site preparation will begin for the W. Front Street Bridge. The bridge will close to all traffic beginning September 27, 2021.  The project will include bridge removal and replacement and an extension of a watermain. Vehicular parking will be maintained along the bridge on the north and south sides. Amenities will include expansion of the sidewalk from the existing 7.5’ width to 11’-17’ in width with a traditional streetscape that includes pedestrian scale lighting and street trees. Aesthetic treatments on the end walls and a fascia to resemble an arch will also be incorporated.  Vehicular traffic detour signage will be placed in the area. The pedestrian detour will utilize the pedestrian bridge over the Boardman River at Pine Street, to Garland Street, and Hall Street. The W. Front Street Bridge project will be closed throughout the winter and is anticipated to be completed in June 2022.

Park Street Bridge

On June 2, 2021, site preparation began for the Park Street Bridge. The bridge opened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Short term closures are expected to finalize minor items on the bridge. The project included the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape were also included in the project.

S. Cass Street Bridge

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction began on June 14, 2021. The project includes bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. An effort to maintain the historic character of the original bridge through the rehabilitation to remove the wood sidewalk and railing will be made.  The S. Cass Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

E. Eighth Street Bridge

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction began on July 26, 2021. The project includes the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional amenities incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with the existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The E. Eighth Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage.. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

City Launches "Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021 - The City of Traverse City is excited to launch a creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. In 2020, the City Clerk’s Office launched an “I Voted” sticker design contest with over 1,300 voters participating in voting for the winning design.  

The “Future Voter” contest is open to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Students may provide more than one submission and collaborations are welcome. The winning design will be printed as stickers and distributed to future voters on Election Day.

 K-12 students are invited to submit designs for the “Future Voter” sticker design contest beginning September 15, 2021 through September 29, 2021. Once the application process closes, a panel of judges will review the select six finalists. A public vote to select the winners of the six finalists will run October 3 - 10, 2021.  The three designs with the top number of votes will win $100 each and be announced at the October 11, 2021 City Commission Meeting.

“The ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest in 2020 was a big success. Traverse City voters continue to proudly display that they exercised their voting rights. Instilling the importance of exercising your right to vote within our youth through this new, Future Voter Sticker Design Contest, will build lifelong citizens that participate in democracy and celebrate civic pride,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

Interested students can go online for the complete contest application, participation criteria and details at the link HERE.

Those with further questions can call (231) 922-4480. All contest entries must be received by the Traverse City City Clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m., September 29, 2021.

 

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City Launches Community Engagement Strategy for Adult Use Marijuana Regulations

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, August 30, 2021

August 30, 2021 - The City Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee for Adult Use Marijuana has launched a formal, focused series of engagement opportunities to help shape the development of how adult use marijuana will be regulated within the City of Traverse City.

Public input on the proposed regulations will be accepted through an online survey that will launch on September 3rd through September 12th and with an in person open house a the open house on September 8, 2021 at the City Opera House from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm.   When the online survey has been launched, the city will officially announce it, along with a link to the survey.

“The City Commission Ad Hoc Committee has worked carefully with the Planning and Zoning Department to build foundational recommendations for the public to provide input. Engaging the public on this initiative is critical to thoughtfully moving forward with adoption regulations for Adult Use Marijuana facilities within the City,” says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

The online survey and in person open house will provide the informational background on adult use marijuana regulations within the City and the methodologies used to create an overlay zoning districts with ten subareas. The public will be asked to provide input on zoning districts, the number of retail facilities, and factors that should be considered when allowing retail facilities, to name a few.

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use (adult use). The City Commission has since been working to implement regulations to allow adult use marijuana retail facilities within the City.  In 2019, the City issued 13 licenses for Provisioning Centers (medical marijuana retail stores). Currently, 12 medical marijuana locations have maintained a license.

To learn more about the Adult Use Marijuana Regulations and community engagement, visit  https://www.traversecitymi.gov/adultuse.asp

 

County Sewer Main Experiences Accidental Release

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Public Health Advisory

UPDATE: Grand Traverse County has lifted the Public Health Advisory as on July 28, 2021.

On Monday, July 26, 2021, at approximately 6:00 p.m, there was an accidental release of an

estimated 200 gallons of untreated sewage from Grand Traverse County’s sewer main near Hastings Street and Parsons Road in Traverse City. The raw sewage entered a storm sewer catch basin that discharges near Bryant Park on West Grand Traverse Bay.

Although this is a minor amount of sewage, out of an abundance of caution, the Grand Traverse County Health Department is advising the public against any body contact of the waters in Bryant Park Beach.  Sampling of Bryant Park water is being conducted today and results will be available on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Once water testing results demonstrate that the affected waters meet the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) standards for E.Coli, the advisory will be lifted.

The public is further advised that the drinking water supply for the City of Traverse City is not affected, since the drinking water comes from East Grand Traverse Bay.

The City will work with Grand Traverse County to further address this matter and keep the public informed on future updates.

Media Contact: Emmy Schumacher, eschumacher@gtcountymi.gov, 231-493-8376

 

Candidates for Mayor and City Commission

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021: As of the 4:00 p.m. deadline to file nominating petitions, the following individuals have filed for the following offices as indicated:

Mayor; two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 (one office available):

Richard I. Lewis

City Commissioner; four-year terms expiring November 10, 2025 (three offices available):

Mi Stanley

Tim Werner

Mark L. Wilson

City Commissioner; partial, two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 (one office available):

Tim Pulliam

Merek Roman

Mitchell Treadwell

The withdrawal deadline for candidates is this Friday, July 23, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. After that time, and once the City Clerk has determined the filings are sufficient and eligible, the City Clerk will certify those candidates who are eligible for placement on the November ballot. 

Candidates that are elected will be sworn into office by City Clerk Benjamin Marentette at the City Commission Organizational Meeting of November 8, 2021, at 7 p.m., and will assume office immediately upon being sworn in. 

 

City of Traverse City Public Body Meetings Return to In Person July 6, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 2, 2021 - In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City of Traverse City quickly pivoted to a “virtual city hall” in March 2020 and a method was prescribed by the State of Michigan for public boards to conduct their meetings remotely. Live streaming continued to be broadcast and a method was developed for the public to attend the meetings, virtually, and provide public comment.

The City of Traverse City will return to in person meetings for all of its public bodies beginning July 6, 2021 when the first in person City Commission meeting will take place in over 15 months. “During the past year, the City, with the community, took the precautionary and preventative steps to slow the pace of the development of new COVID-19 cases to reduce the risk of overwhelming our healthcare system and keep our community safe. At the same time, we developed a way to continue to allow for public comment which is critical. We want to thank our community for adapting to the “virtual city hall” and we look forward to moving forward in person, together,” says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

All commissions, boards, and ad hoc committees will conduct their meetings in person moving forward, excluding the Historic Districts Commission that will meet one last time in July virtually should a meeting be needed. In person meetings will continue to be broadcast live on Cable Channel 191 and the meeting will be streamed at https://www.tacm.tv/govtvnow.asp. “The City followed proper scientific MDHHS guidelines to conduct business safely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, keeping our community members and City staff safe. I am grateful that Traverse City is in a position within this pandemic to return in person meetings and look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the residents of the City,” says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

City of Traverse City Public Bodies

  • Act 345
  • Arts Commission
  • Board of Tax Review
  • Brown Bridge Advisory Committee
  • Downtown Development Authority
  • Election Commission
  • Grand Traverse Commons Joint Planning Commission
  • Historic Districts Commission (in person meetings after August 1, 2021)
  • Housing Commission
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Local Officers Compensation Commission
  • Lower Boardman River Leadership Team
  • Parks & Recreation Commission
  • Traverse City Coast Guard Committee
  • Traverse City Light & Power 

New Funding Announced for Continued COVID-19 Wastewater Monitoring

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced nearly $49 million in grant funding to support 19 local projects that will continue conducting COVID-19 wastewater surveillance and implement COVID-19 variant strain testing of wastewater.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding will reinitiate COVID-19 wastewater monitoring established during a Fall 2020 pilot project. The state’s SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology – Wastewater Evaluation and Reporting Network uses locally coordinated projects to conduct wastewater surveillance for COVID-19. Wastewater is tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease, that is shed in feces into Michigan public sewer systems. Partners include local health departments, tribal nations, wastewater treatment and environmental engineering agencies, colleges and universities, and public, private and academic laboratories.

Funding for the project will continue through July 31, 2023. As COVID-19 cases decrease across the state, wastewater monitoring can provide useful information regarding disease detection and spread on a larger community level. This can be especially important as clinical testing rates decrease.

“Wastewater surveillance is so important to identifying COVID-19 infections and community transmission early, and is especially important as we move to a new phase of fighting this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “If our rates of infection start to increase, this network may provide an early warning sign and help communities target public health actions to prevent further spread.”

It is also one of the few surveillance methods that can provide information on the virus within populations that are not showing signs of illness or who do not seek health care.

In the pilot project, participating local health departments and universities were able to focus clinical testing recommendations and communication efforts when increased levels of the virus were detected in wastewater. Specific examples of successful outcomes from the pilot project, including how the data was used, are available in the COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Feasibility Pilot Project Success Stories.

Continued monitoring will provide timely and consistent wastewater data to support COVID-19 public health responses within 33 local health jurisdictions with project sampling sites. This data will include information on SARS-CoV-2 presence, trends and preliminary detections of variant strains found in wastewater.

The funding expands the reach of the established monitoring system to cover a large geographic portion of Michigan. Local projects have proposed over 460 sample sites across a total of 55 counties and the City of Detroit. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that more than 87,000 wastewater samples will be collected and analyzed.

These funds will support sample collection, transportation and testing of wastewater samples; analysis and reporting of results; coordination and communication within local projects and with state agencies; and submission of results to MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Nineteen local projects were funded for the following amounts:

  • $1,750,886 - Dr. Michael Conway’s lab at Central Michigan University.
  • $1,979,848 - City of Traverse City.
  • $1,831,851 - Shimadzu Core Lab at Ferris State University.
  • $1,732,225 - Dr. Richard Rediske’s lab at Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute.
  • $1,910,023 - Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
  • $7,543,073 - Global Water Research Institute at Hope College.
  • $3,278,054 - Kent County Health Department.
  • $2,182,037 - Professor Benjamin Southwell’s lab at Lake Superior State University.
  • $2,673,806 - Macomb County Public Works Office.
  • $3,223,635 - Dr. Joan Rose’s lab at Michigan State University.
  • $2,713,176 - Dr. Irene Xagoraraki’s lab at Michigan State University.
  • $628,935 - Dr. Josh Sharp’s lab at Northern Michigan University.
  • $2,500,000 - Oakland County Health Division.
  • $2,483,851 - Dr. David Szlag’s lab at Oakland University.
  • $2,009,639 - Dr. Tami Sivy’s lab at Saginaw Valley State University.
  • $2,596,012 - Dr. Kevin Bakker and Dr. Krista Wigginton’s lab at University of Michigan. $2,716,317 - Dr. Chuanwu Xi’s lab at University of Michigan.
  • $3,129,407 - Dr. Jeffrey Ram’s lab at Wayne State University.
  • $2,032,102 - White Water Associates Inc.

For this communications. EGLE will provide scientific expertise and data management capacity for the network. Dr. Rose’s lab at Michigan State University will serve as the lead laboratory, responsible for standardizing lab testing and providing technical assistance.

To view data from the pilot project, visit the Michigan COVID-19 Wastewater Dashboard. This dashboard will be updated in the near future to reflect the new data that results from this funding. For more information on wastewater monitoring, visit the Wastewater Surveillance for COVID-19 website

For more information, contact Lynn Sutfin, (517) 241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov

Pavement Preservation Project, Cape Sealing, Authorized

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021 - The Traverse City City Commission authorized a contract with for the 2021 Cape Sealing Project at their June 21, 2021 meeting. The contract with Pavement Maintenance Systems, for $1,493,280, will extend the life of 12.85 miles of city streets by approximately 7 – 10 year.

A cape seal is a two-step pavement preservation process that combines two roadway surface treatments designed to extend the life of pavements in fair to good condition, consisting of a chip seal treatment, which is then covered by a slurry seal (a cold mix paving treatment) or micro surfacing treatment.  The City’s Streets Department initiated the use of the alternate pavement maintenance technique known as cape seal in 2011. The cape seal application improved the useful life of nearly 3.5 miles of streets.

“The City uses a number of proven methodologies of repairing streets.  Cape sealing has proven to be a useful technique that extends the life of pavement for nearly 10 years.  Our professional engineering staff and streets department work on developing an overarching plan to best utilize available funding to extend or replace the life of our street surfaces,” stated City Manager Martin Colburn.

The City’s Streets Department identified 12.85 miles of streets that would benefit from the technique.  Cape sealing is completed more rapidly than other pavement preservation techniques.  Thus, the inconvenience to the public will be minimized.

CAPE SEAL PROJECT MAP

2021 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award Recipients

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 15, 2021 - The Traverse City Human Rights Commission has announced the recipients of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian awards this year.

Ryan Hannon, Outreach Coordinator at Goodwill Industries, and Bill and Michelle White, creators of the nonprofit "5 Loaves, 2 Fish," are this year's recipients of the 26-year-old award. Hannon was chosen for his long-time service in championing the area homelessness. The Whites are recognized for their work in this difficult year of food insecurity. 

Hannon has a long history of working with the homeless population in Traverse City. He helped establish 86th District Court's Outreach program in 2007 and has long been an advocate for the homeless. Last year's Humanitarian award winner, Tom Bousamra said, in nominating Hannon, "I have witnessed his passionate advocacy for those experiencing homelessness."

Both Bill and Michelle White spent many hours each week planning, preparing and serving meals to those in the area experiencing food insecurity. While others also helped the Whites, the retired couple set the example of getting to know the recipients and making them feel welcome, according to several of the volunteers who nominated them.

“The Traverse City Human Rights Commission appreciates all of the nominations we received for several different nominees. Our local community is fortunate that many people are working on behalf of human rights,” said Susan Odgers, Chair of the Traverse City Human Rights Commission.

The award is given annually in honor of Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, who exemplified the philosophies and ideals of the Human Rights Commission to promote mutual understanding and respect among all people and to discourage discriminatory practices. This award recognizes Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideals.

The recipients will be publicly recognized later this year when Traverse City governmental groups meet in person. To learn more about the Human Rights Commission visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp.

City Establishes Communications Specialist position

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 - To further their goal of inspiring more engagement and driving up awareness of city initiatives, projects and services, the City Commission approved the establishment of a Communications Specialist position as recommended by City Manager Marty Colburn, City Clerk Benjamin Marentette and Human Resources Director Kristine Bosley.  City Clerk Benjamin Marentette has named Colleen Paveglio to serve as the Communications Specialist for the City of Traverse City.      Ms. Paveglio begins her new position on Monday, June 14, 2021, and will report directly to the City Clerk.

The City Clerk’s Office serves as the city’s public information office and every year, has thousands of interactions with citizens and stakeholder groups.   The office touches all city departments, with nearly every piece of information and business related to city government flowing through it in one shape or another; however, there has never before been a professional position focused and dedicated to engagement, communications and education to serve the entire organization.  

In her role, Ms. Paveglio will be responsible for overseeing the city’s official communications platforms, including website, social media, and other digital communication tools.   She will lead the city’s public information and communication efforts, nurturing community relations and engagement and public awareness of the city’s programs, initiatives and services.   Ms. Paveglio will be building relationships with neighborhood associations, stakeholder groups and the general public, proactively identifying strategies and plans for engagement.   One of the first projects that will be led by Paveglio is a complete overhaul of the city website.   She will also be developing new outreach methods, and developing a communications and media plan for the organization in order to better connect and reach a wide audience. 

Ms. Paveglio has a Bachelor of Arts & Science in Communications from Michigan State University and has served as a communications and marketing professional for over 16 years, serving in that capacity most recently for the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority.

Marentette indicated, “Colleen Paveglio loves Traverse City and engagement and transparency in government is at the core of her DNA.    She is the perfect person for this important professional role and we are excited to see the benefits of her work, which will be seen throughout the community.   Having the benefit of more minds at the table when tackling issues addressed by city government is invaluable and Colleen’s history and relationships within this community and her passion for community involvement will do just that: bring more minds to the table and we’ll all be better for it.”

Ms. Paveglio is responsible for several projects and programs that were specifically geared toward Traverse City residents such as Shop Your Community Day, the Downtown Light Parade, and Traverse City Restaurant Week. She has developed a number of engagement programs that focus on municipal endeavors. In 2014, Ms. Paveglio worked with the City of Traverse City to create the Public Art ordinance and the Traverse City Arts Commission. Since then, she has been instrumental in a number of public art installations throughout the City. Most recently, she developed the city’s 2020 annual report, The Performance.

“I am thrilled to serve in this new role and grow the city’s communication landscape to increase civic engagement and identify opportunities to share the city’s message in an open and inclusive manner. As a resident of the city, I have a deep passion for our community and I am honored to have the opportunity to work together to build civic pride,” says Colleen Paveglio.

 

Cass Street Bridge Incident

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 - In connection with the South Cass Street Bridge project, two skyjacks were overturned this afternoon. The units were lowering a floating barge work platform in connection with bridgework onto river and tipped over. No injuries occurred with the operators or those working on scene.

As a result of the incident, a small amount of fluid leaked and has been contained.  The appropriate local and county agencies have responded and the State of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are en route to the scene. Emergency responders continue to be onsite.

“We are grateful that no injuries were sustained due to this incident. Thanks to the crews on the scene and our emergency responders for their quick response time,” says Acting City Manager/City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

The South Cass Street Bridge is anticipated to be closed until November 2021 in connection with the bridge rehabilitation work. 

City Clerk Marentette Receives Making Democracy Work Award

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021 - The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area has honored City Clerk Benjamin Marentette with the Making Democracy Work Award!  "I appreciate the recognition given to Traverse City for our excellence in running elections.   Powering democracy, whether it be through elections, best practices in governance, is at the center of my professional heart.  It is an honor to lead the election team in Traverse City and this award is a credit to the entire team, from the colleagues in my office to team leads in our polling places and absent voter counting boards to the poll workers who are here, for you, for the right reasons," says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

"Benjamin's commitment to democracy spans far beyond the City of Traverse City. He has contributed his knowledge statewide and his dedication to fair and just elections for all is admirable," says City Manager Marty Colburn.

The City Clerk's Office serves as the legislative and corporate office for the City of Traverse City, with many operational responsibilities, serving in accordance with and upholding the Michigan Constitution. In addition to elections, the department is responsible for areas including licensing, communications, governance, risk management, and financial oversight. 

"City voters benefit from having a Clerk's Office that is dedicated to democracy. Under Benjamin's leadership, voting responsibilities are handled with careful diligence. This award is a well deserved testament to our team at the City," says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

 To learn more about the City Clerk’s Office, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/clerk.asp

Bridge Construction Begins June 2, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021 -  Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City is preparing to begin major bridgework throughout the City on June 1, 2021. The infrastructure improvements will include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street and E. Eighth Street. 

City staff is coordinating the project with MDOT’s Traverse City TSC and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities, DDA, and public services, State and Federal agencies, and property owners, and water recreation businesses. The project is being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($3.9 Million), City Funds ($294,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($383,000), and DDA TIF Funds ($432,000). 

"The upcoming bridge work is critical to maintaining our infrastructure within the City. Staff has worked diligently on preparing for these major bridge projects for the City's future.  We are pleased to have funding assistance from various sources to invest in infrastructure and develop increased amenities such as pedestrian lighting and wider sidewalks,” says City Manager Martin Colburn

 

Park Street Bridge

Beginning June 2, 2021, site preparation will begin for the Park Street Bridge. The project will include the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape will be included in the project. The Parks Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

 

S. Cass Street Bridge

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction is anticipated to begin construction on June 14, 2021. The project will include bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. An effort to maintain the historic character of the original bridge through the rehabilitation to remove the wood sidewalk and railing will be made.  The S. Cass Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

 

E. Eighth Street Bridge

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction is anticipated to begin construction on July 26, 2021. The project will include the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional amenities incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with the existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The E. Eighth Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

"The bridges throughout the City are in need of maintenance and repair.  While the construction season is upon us, we can work together to navigate through the City with patience to create a safe environment for motorists, pedestrians, City staff, and contractors within these work zones," says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected and detour maps have been developed to assist those traveling throughout the City. Pedestrians will be directed to use the Cass Street tunnel to access Clinch Park and the Open Space. The Boardman River will be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible.

“The Downtown Development Authority appreciates the partnership in starting this important bridge infrastructure work for our entire region.  The bridge repair work, though disruptive to vehicles, is a much needed infrastructure improvement that will be both an aesthetic and logistical enhancement to our downtown community,” says DDA CEO Jean Derenzy.

 

The Downtown Development Authority will hold two informational zoom sessions to discuss upcoming bridge projects on Park, Cass, Eighth, and Front Streets and how this construction will affect Downtown Traverse City. Both sessions will have a question-and-answer session, as well as an explanation of the proposed detour routes.

 

The first session will take place at 9am on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Link to the Zoom Session:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89882874449?pwd=eE9lcUppa0s2ZFB1R0NXdXJTaFFIZz09

Meeting ID: 898 8287 4449

Passcode: 045027

One tap mobile +13126266799,,89882874449#,,,,*045027# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,89882874449#,,,,*045027# US (New York)

 

The second session will take place at 3pm on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Link to the Zoom Session:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81982189247?pwd=ZndxSnR2eVBvaGNGdllvNk9jcW9YUT09

Meeting ID: 819 8218 9247

Passcode: 830337

One tap mobile +13126266799,,81982189247#,,,,*830337# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,81982189247#,,,,*830337# US (New York)

 

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

DWSRF Water System Improvement Project Plan

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, May 21, 2021

DRAFT DWSRF Water System Improvement Project Plan.

A public hearing has been scheduled for June 21, 2021. 

November 2, 2021 Election: Nominating Packets Available

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021 

Nominating packets for those who wish to run for the Office of Mayor or Office of City Commissioner are available from the City Clerk’s Office, first floor, Governmental Center, 400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City, Michigan.

Offices available:

Mayor, two-year term ending November 13, 2023

3 City Commissioners, four-year term ending November 10, 2025.

One City Commission, partial term ending November 13, 2023.


Candidates must file nominating petitions and other required documentation with the City Clerk by July 20, 2021, at 4 p.m.


The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the city's "board of directors." The following is the mission statement for the City Commission:

The mission of the Traverse City City Commission is to guide the preservation and development of the City’s infrastructure, services, and planning based on extensive participation by its citizens coupled with the expertise of the city’s staff. The Commission will both lead and serve Traverse City in developing a vision for sustainability and the future that is rooted in the hopes and input of its citizens and organizations, as well as cooperation from surrounding units of government.

Very broadly speaking, the functions of the City Commission for the City of Traverse City are to:

  • Set public policy for the city through ordinances and other official actions
  • Allocate public funds under the city's control and responsibility, including adoption of the City Budget
  • Exercise policy oversight of the city's resources
  • Appoint the City Manager and City Attorney; and in order to maintain a system of checks and balances, to provide for appropriate separation of duties and autonomy in conducting and performing official and corporate functions, the City Commission approves the City Manager's indefinite appointment and removal of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer
  • Appoint individuals to various board and commissions
  • Exercise other authority and powers granted to it by the Michigan Constitution, Michigan Law, Michigan Promulgated Rules, the City Charter and other authorities

The City Commission consists of six members and the Mayor, all elected at-large (all members of the City Commission represent the entire city, as the city is not broken into "wards" or "districts"). All offices on the City Commission are non-partisan. The Mayor is elected for a two-year term and Commissioners are elected for four-year terms. City Commission terms are arranged so that no more than four terms (or "seats") expire every two years. City Commission elections are held in November of odd years.

As provided by Michigan Law and the City Charter, for ceremonial purposes, the Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city. The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and has a voice and vote on all matters before the City Commission, but is without veto power. Along with the City Clerk, the Mayor executes various items by signature as the City Commission, City Charter, Michigan Law require.

For further information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (231) 922-4480, or email tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov

Candidates elected at the November 2, 2021, election, will be sworn in by City Clerk Benjamin Marentette and take office at 7 p.m. on November 8, 2021.

DTE Gas Renewal Project Begins April 5th

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021 - DTE will be working in several areas throughout the City to replace aging natural gas lines with modern, long lasting pipes. Find more information here

Safe Routes to School Kicks Off April 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, March 26, 2021
srts_general_square.jpg

March 26, 2021 - 

Through careful planning with area partners and community members, the City of Traverse City is readying the launch of the Safe Routes to School project with an anticipated start date in April 2021.  In 2011, the City Commission adopted a Complete Streets Policy that enables safe and convenient access for all legal road users, including pedestrians. The City has worked toward implementing sidewalk goals set by the City Commission by executing two tracks: a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure grant program and an equity-based sidewalk gap and infill project, primarily targeted at Traverse Heights neighborhood, which was identified as underserved with pedestrian connectivity. 

Today, only 13% of kids actively travel to school, compared to 48% in 1969. Among those living within a 1.4 mile of school, just 56% walk or bike. Safe Routes to School is a movement that aims to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. Beyond the many health benefits of walking, studies have shown that walking to school can improve academic performance and reduce anxiety. The most successful SRTS programs incorporate the Six E’s: evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and equity. Since 2005, Safe Routes to School Programs have benefited more than 14,000 schools in all 50 states.  

In 2018, the City was awarded with a more than $2 Million grant for the SRTS initiative. “Creating safe pedestrian connections for our youth and residents within the City can result in happier and healthier lifestyles. We are fortunate to have been awarded a significant grant toward the Safe Routes to School initiative to provide such amenities to our community and further our journey toward a more walkable community,” says City Planner Shawn Winter.  

Partners on the project include TART Trails, Norte, Northwestern Michigan College, Grand Traverse County, Garfield Township, Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Michigan Fitness Foundation, and Michigan Department of Transportation. The City worked with four school districts including Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, and Trinity Lutheran Schools to identify ten k-8 schools that would benefit from 3.5 miles of trail and sidewalk expansion. School partners include:

  • TBAISD New Campus School- 1100 Silver Drive
  • TBAISD Oak Park Campus-301 S. Garfield Ave
  • TCAPS Montessori School at Glenn Loomis- 1009 Oak Street
  • TCAPS Willow Hill Elementary-1250 Hill Street
  • TCAPS Central Grade School- 301 W. Seventh Street
  • TCAPS Eastern Elementary School- 1600 Eastern Avenue
  • TCAPS Traverse Heights Elementary- 933 Rose Street
  • TCAPS West Middle School- 3950 Silver Lake Road
  • GTACS Immaculate Conception Elementary Schools School- 218 Vine Street
  • Trinity Lutheran School- 1003 S. Maple Street

“City staff has worked with area partners, schools, and community members for a number of years to bring the Safe Routes to School initiative to fruition. Providing access for all ages and abilities through sidewalk and trail connectivity has been a focus of the City Commission and will bring numerous benefits to our residents,” says Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers.

The Safe Routes to School project will be a phased approach throughout spring and summer 2021. To learn more about Safe Routes to School and the City’s Sidewalk Gap and Infill project, including project updates, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/sidewalk.asp

Human Rights Commission Provides Supportive Funding

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, March 8, 2021

March 8, 2021 - 

The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) recently offered supportive funding, up to $500, to area nonprofit organizations. Eight organizations applied for funding and the HRC chose five local projects whose purposes complement those of the Commission. An HRC commissioner was assigned as a liaison to work with each group.

Throughout its 26-year history, the HRC has sponsored public hearings, community conversations, educational forums, and celebrations of civil rights milestones such as Martin Luther King Day, and films like "RBG" and "Just Mercy." COVID-19 provided an opportunity for the HRC to pivot their approach to reaching their annual goals and offer funding to those with shared missions and values.

“While most yearly events have been rescheduled or postponed this year, the HRC has taken another avenue to continue its work. The need for human rights advocacy didn't stand still this year, it became even more urgent," says Susan Odgers, HRC Chairperson. "We have selected five community projects to collaborate with, using a portion of our 2020-21 budget to supplement their costs."

$500 Awarded: Before, During, and After Incarceration (BDAI)

Deacon Tom Bousamra will work with Commissioners Jerry Beasley and Jessica Forster in purchasing meals for its monthly support sessions. These support sessions are free and open to formerly incarcerated residents and their families. Families of currently incarcerated people are also welcome to attend.

$500 Awarded: Dennos Museum Center

A collaboration with the HRC and other community groups to host Resilience: African-American Artists as Agents of Change.  This exhibition and its related tours, discussions, and programs align with the Dennos’ strategic focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will be the first exhibition to showcase the talent of African-American artists. As a sponsor/collaborator, HRC will assist with community outreach and engagement.  Commissioner Susan Odgers is the Commission liaison for this project.

$500 Awarded: The Traverse Area District Library

The Traverse Area District Library is purchasing “Book Club Kits’ as part of the library's annual provision of resources to encourage community book clubs.  The HRC’s purchase of books will relate to racial equity and social justice topics. As a sponsor/collaborator, HRC Commissioner Jennifer Loup will assist with outreach and community engagement and members will promote the kits with new and existing book clubs.

$485 Awarded: Traverse City Area Public Schools

Alison Sullivan, U.S. History teacher at East Middle School, is purchasing 34 copies of the book Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism, and You, for use in 8th grade classes to facilitate anti-racism education.  Marilyn Jaquish, HRC Commission liaison, will participate in selected classroom activities.

$500 Awarded: United Way of Northwest Michigan

A 5-Day Equity Challenge, based on the statewide 21-Day Equity Challenge is being developed. This program was originally designed for companies to conduct with employees. However, based on participant feedback, the adult program will be customized to foster and guide conversations among families with school-age children, addressing issues of racial equity and systemic racism. It will be offered free to the public, in collaboration with the HRC and other organizations with similar racial equity goals. Commissioner Nicole Agruda, HRC Commission liaison, will collaborate with Seth Johnson, United Way of Northwest Michigan CEO, in community outreach and engagement, and HRC members will have the opportunity to participate in the 5-Day Equity Challenge.

For more information on the Human Rights Commission visit, https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp

 

  

 

 

Beet Heet to Hit Traverse City Streets

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020 - The City of Traverse City’s Department of Public Services (DPS) continues to explore the best management practices and products to provide snow and ice-free travel ways. The DPS Streets Division explored products regionally and nationally that provide safe roadways and can reduce the use of salt and sand. Recommendations for an ice fighting product called Beet Heet were made based on research and conversations with management officials from Emmet County, MI, Sturgis, MI, Rochester, NY, Erie, PA, and Syracuse, NY.

“Traverse City residents hold tremendous value in the quality of our natural world/environment and our water quality. The Beet Heet product received excellent reviews from various municipalities and agencies that our department contacted. We look forward to launching a product that continues to make an impact on a more sustainable future,” says DPS Director Frank Dituri.

Beet Heet is not to be confused with beet juice or various alcohol based products. Residents may notice differences from the current use of pure salt (white in color) as this product is described as having a darker color, that is more water soluble than salt and has a mild aroma of coffee or chocolate. The product is more efficient at melting ice, and is effective to much lower temperatures than the salt the City currently uses. There are immediate environmental benefits as a result of the reduction in the amount of salt and sand needed to keep roads safe. Beet Heet is much less corrosive than salt and is rapidly bio-degradable. Furthermore, the efficacy of its use translates into a substantial cost savings to the City when compared to the status quo. 

It is the City’s intent, with the use of Beet Heet, to provide an equivalent or elevated level of service in a more efficient manner, and to reduce the use of salt and sand thereby reducing effects on the environment.