City Home > News

City News

Hickory Hills Opens January 2, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December 29, 2020 - The anticipation continues to build for the ski season at Hickory Hills.  Crews are working day and night to make more snow and are putting the final touches on things in preparation for opening day on January 2, 2021. 

Due to the likelihood of high skier turnout on opening day, we suggest that you purchase your annual passes ahead of time to avoid long lines.  Passes can most easily be purchased online at .  

As expected, there are many changes at Hickory Hills this year.  In addition to masks being required and the lodge being unavailable as a gathering area we also have some additional modifications, so we have prepared a FAQ page that answers many of the questions that you might have about operational changes and new rules at

As we await opening day for the Alpine season, we have already opened for Nordic skiing and are daily rolling the trails on Hickory Hills and also Hickory Meadows when conditions allow.  Passes for Nordic skiing are also available for purchase online on the City of Traverse City website at .

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.






Human Rights Commission Offers Supportive Funding

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, December 11, 2020

December 11, 2020 - Please see the following message from Human Rights Commission Chairperson Susan Odgers, sharing information on the Commission’s mission and supportive funding.

The Traverse City Human Rights Commission (HRC) has amended its Fiscal Year 20-21 budget to support activities that reflect its mission and include activities that are focused on protecting public health. Throughout its 26-year history, the HRC has sponsored hundreds of 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. The continuing rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has prompted the Commission to seek alternative means of achieving its 2020 goals without public health risk.

Traverse area nonprofit organizations or government/educational agencies are invited to apply for “sponsorship” funding for projects within three priority areas: 1) racial equity and inclusion, 2) homelessness, and 3) criminal justice reform. Financial support will generally range from $200-$500 per project. Proposed projects should enhance public awareness related to these three priorities and/or provide effective tools to strengthen services to priority populations (homeless, BIPOC, and the incarcerated). The use of technology/media in place of public gatherings and adherence to current CDC guidelines will be an essential component of the evaluation process. 

An application form may be found by visiting,

The Commission will begin reviewing applications during the monthly meetings, beginning in December to February. Projects will be considered monthly until the remaining $3,000 in the FY20-21 budget has been allocated. The next fiscal year will begin July 1, 2021 and funding priorities will be updated at that time.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission, visit





2020 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020 - The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission is proud to honor Tom Bousamra as the 2020 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award. This year’s award ceremony, originally planned for March 2020,  was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bousamra has been presented with the award and he will also be honored during the City Commission meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020.

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. Additionally, he was a secondary English teacher for forty years.  Bousamra helped to prepare those incarcerated for re-entry into our community through Life Skills Classes, Coaching/Mentoring programs, and Family Support Dinners. He's refurbished the jail library with new books and supported a clothing closet for those leaving incarceration. He's also advocated for improved mental health services, enrichment classes, and collaboration with other community organizations. Said one nominator, “Tom has a passion for those in need, whether the incarcerated, those experiencing homelessness, or people just needing a hand up. It is his heartfelt belief that all people have value and should be treated with dignity. Tom always sees the good in people and what they can accomplish.”

Bousamra has made a positive impact on our community and is especially-deserving of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award. Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, through her courageous and determined actions gave birth to the concept of a Human Rights organization in her community. Her conduct and professionalism exemplify 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 Sara Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideas. The recipient of this award is selected by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission. We want to encourage the citizens of the Traverse City area to join with us in recognizing the contributions made by this deserving individual in the promotion of human rights.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission, visit