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Returning to Business - Water Use Best Management Practices

by Alanna Crouch
Friday, May 22, 2020

Returning to Business - Water Use Best Management Practices

To All Traverse City Water Customers:

Water quality needs to be an important part of our everyday routine and business practices.  Due to the COVID-19 Stay at Home, Stay Safe mandate, many buildings, stores, restaurants, and hotels were vacant and had very little or no water flowing through their pipes for an extended period of time causing interior water plumbing systems to become stagnant.  As we are slowly returning to our new normal, we urge you to consider these recommendations to improve your water quality within your building’s water system plumbing as improvement of your water quality needs to be a priority prior to opening.

Here are some important matters to consider along with recommendations from the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Fresh water should be drawn into building water systems and stagnant water flushed out before they are reopened. (Quick tip: flush until you feel the cold side temperature of the water change.)
  • Both hot and cold plumbing need to be flushed.  The size, length and plumbing material will vary the time required to properly flush the system.
  • Some internal point of use systems that should be flushed are water filtration systems, drinking fountains, eye wash stations, cooling towers, water softeners, hot water tanks and hot water recirculation systems. 

Please reference the following 2 minute instructional video to assist you with flushing your building’s water system plumbing:

Below are additional links to more detailed water quality CDC guide lines:

In addition, please reference the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-91 (COVID-19) regarding all requirements for businesses returning to operation per the link below:,9309,7-387-90499_90705-529474--,00.html

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the City Water and Sewer Maintenance Department at 231-922-4923 between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm weekdays.

Thank you and we appreciate your efforts to stay safe!

Important Information Regarding August and November 2020 elections and voting by mail/Absentee

by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, May 20, 2020



Subject:          August 4, 2020, Primary and November 3, 2020, Election: Voting By Mail/Absent Voter Ballot


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

Issued:             May 20, 2020

In November 2018, Michigan voters approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that provides the right for anyone to vote an absent voter ballot without any reason; you can vote this way simply for the convenience.

On May 20, 2020, the City Clerk’s Office for Traverse City is sending an absent voter ballot application for the upcoming August 4, 2020, Primary and the November 3, 2020, Presidential General Election to approximately 3,800 registered voters (those who have requested to receive one for each election) and the Michigan Secretary of State is sending an absent voter ballot application to all remaining registered voters in Traverse City.  All applications must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office. 

In order to receive an absent voter ballot, please complete the application (and indicate for which elections you’d like an absent voter ballot), and either return it by any of the following convenient options:

  1. Snap a photo of your completed absent voter ballot application and email it to  (we’ve updated the application to encourage this method of submission)!
  2. Mail it to:

City of Traverse City

c/o City Clerk

P.O. Box 592

Traverse City, MI 49685

3. Drop it in the utility payment drop box in the parking lot of the Governmental Center (near the one-way exit out of the parking lot)

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette is glad the Secretary of State’s Office is teaming up with his office to get an absent voter ballot application in the hands of each and every registered voter, “Every registered voter in Michigan who had an election on May 5, 2020, was sent an absent voter ballot and over 98% of those voting chose to vote using an absentee ballot.   My office was planning on sending an absentee ballot application to all registered voters as a way to provide a path to voting that doesn’t require visiting a polling place on election day, especially as we combat the coronavirus pandemic.  We’re glad for the assistance from the Secretary of State’s Office.   Voters in Michigan enshrined in the Constitution the right to vote an absent voter ballot for any reason or no reason at all, and we should do all we can to support that right.” 

For the May 5, 2020, election, the Governor of Michigan issued an Executive Order providing that all jurisdictions could have just one voting location because it was recommended that voters vote by mail/absentee if they’re so willing and avoid going to the polling places.  No such plans have been announced by either the Governor or Secretary of State; therefore, at this time, the City Clerk anticipates operating all polling locations in August and November and not consolidating precincts in order to avoid confusion by the electorate.

Voting by mail/absentee ballot is encouraged and is safe and secure.   Marentette notes, “Anyone wishing to vote absentee must complete an application and sign it; my team will verify that the signature matches our record and we will then mail an absent voter ballot.   When a voter returns their absentee ballot, they sign the envelope and my team will make sure the signature on the envelope matches the signature on our record.  If a signature doesn’t match, we will work to contact the voter and correct the issue. All absentee ballots returned by 8 p.m. on election day with verified signatures are tabulated by election inspectors working in the Governmental Center.” 

Anyone who doesn’t complete the absentee ballot application that they initially receive but later wishes to vote absentee is encouraged to contact the City Clerk’s Office for an application and we will be happy to provide you one. 

The City Clerk’s Office anticipates issuing ballots for the August 2020 election approximately June 26, 2020, and will ensure all military and overseas voters receive their ballots by the Federally-mandated deadline.    Ballots for the November 2020 election will likely be issued approximately September 25, 2020. 



City Begins Second Pass Brush Pickup May 18

by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The City of Traverse City is pleased to announce May 18, 2020 they will begin their second Spring brush pickup.

Crews will be moving west to east; please have your leaves out for pickup by Monday morning, May 18.

All brush must be neatly stacked. Large branches cannot exceed 4 inches in diameter, and cannot exceed one 8’ x 8’ x 4’ high pile.

Christmas trees are allowed. No logs, tree stumps or shrub root balls are allowed. Place brush in the alley, if one exists, or behind curb or pavement edge on street. Please be sure to keep all catch basins free of debris.

Please remember our crews will only be down your street/alley once!

The City of Traverse City would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that other than the scheduled dates, City Ordinance does not permit placing items in the streets, alleys, or right of ways.

Traverse City's 125th Birthday: A Virtual Celebration

by Benjamin Marentette
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Traverse City, MI -- In celebration of Traverse City’s 125th birthday, a community virtual “Quarantine Quasquicentennial” birthday party is planned over the weekend of May 15-18, 2020. Traverse City was incorporated on May 18, 1895, and will celebrate its 125th birthday on Monday, May 18, 2020. The community is invited to partake in the virtual celebration with several fun opportunities to celebrate Traverse City’s people, history, natural features, culture, and strong sense of place.

 Shared Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk for the City of Traverse City, “the City was thinking of having a festive community celebration to celebrate TC turning 125, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, original in-person plans were unfortunately canceled. While we may not be able to blow out 125 candles on her cake together, we certainly can have a birthday bash of a different kind!” 

 In partnership with the City of Traverse City, Traverse City Tourism, and the National Cherry Festival, City of Traverse City City Commissioner Ashlea Walter rallied to organize a virtual birthday party to commemorate this milestone and give community members something to celebrate while safely staying home and social distancing. Walter had pondered, “if one of my best friends were to have a milestone birthday party during the pandemic and we couldn’t celebrate in person, what would I do for her? I would want to throw her a virtual party and show her how much our community loved her.”

TC Bingo

Traverse City Tourism will offer a free Traverse City BINGO game. People are invited to explore a fun sampling of historic, natural, and cultural features of Traverse City. Printable and fun for all ages to explore together. BINGO cards can be accessed here:

Players can drop off their completed BINGO card with contact information to the National Cherry Festival office by May 31. Participants will be sent two certificates for a free slice of pie by the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Kat Paye, Executive Director of the National Cherry Festival, shared “The National Cherry Festival is thrilled to be able to help Traverse City celebrate such a milestone. We thought what better way to celebrate than with a slice of cherry pie!” 

Explore TC’s Great Outdoors

Traverse City’s Norte invites community members to celebrate by biking, walking, running, skipping, or strolling a safe and healthy 125, 12.5, 1.25 or .125 miles around Traverse City. Norte Executive Director, Ty Schmidt, added “we love Traverse City and encourage our friends and neighbors to safely explore and remain active every day. This is a special opportunity to enjoy our beautiful neighborhoods and open spaces and celebrate TC’s birthday. Outside is still not canceled!” More here:

Celebrate virtually at 5 p.m. on May 18 with your favorite Traverse City-crafted beverage. Responsibly enjoy your favorite Traverse City beverage of choice and virtually toast to Traverse City safely at home. 


Other Fun Ways to Celebrate

Organizers are encouraging community members to celebrate virtually and safely at home and share on social media/with your family with these other ideas. Opined Traverse City Mayor, Jim Carruthers, “It’s an honor to be Mayor of Traverse City for our 125 birthday! Sadly due to this crisis, we can’t celebrate publicly as a community, but we can join together virtually, so please join in the celebration.”

  • Sidewalk chalk art: I love TC because X
  • 1895 TC fashion
  • 1895 TC food
  • Share on social media your favorite things, places, people or events in TC
  • Celebrate by ordering take-out from your favorite TC business
  • Learn a new fun fact about TC history and share on social media
  • Send a thank you card to your favorite TC community leader 
  • Ring bells, pots and pans at 8 p.m.
  • Make a list of your favorite 125 things about Traverse City and share on social media
  • Share on social media how you say “quasquicentennial”

 Some of our area leaders and changemakers are going to be singing Happy Birthday to Traverse City and talking about what they love about T.C… look for that later!


City Begins Second Pass Leaf Pickup May 14

by Alanna Crouch
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

City Crews will begin the second pass of leaf pickup on Thursday, May 14, working west to east. Please have leaves placed in the street no later than the morning of May 14; being sure to avoid clogging catch basins. Crews will make one pass only. Biodegradable bags are allowed, please do not use plastic as it can damage our machines.