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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.

Halloween Trick or Treating Recommendations

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, October 7, 2021

October 7, 2021 - The Traverse City Police Department has recommended the following hours and tips and tricks for the Halloween on Sunday, October 31, 2021, within the city limits of Traverse City. The trick-or-treating hours will be from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm; participating residents are asked to promptly turn lights on and off at the specified times to indicate their participation to the public. Halloween 2021 is going to be celebrated in a similar manner as 2020 with some important tips to help make trick-or-treating safer!

We strongly encourage participating city residents and parents of participating trick-or-treater’s to please observe the CDC guidance in reference to safe trick-or-treating.

  • Keep your distance; stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take on their own.
  • If over the age of 2, wear a mask over the nose and mouth. Do not allow your child to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands; bring hand sanitizer with you to use after touching objects or other people.

The National Confectioners Association and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association have established the following safety tips to help make this Halloween a safe and enjoyable holiday for our children.

COSTUME SAFETY:

  • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks, but if masks are used, make sure they fit properly and have holes large enough for mouth and eyes.
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant.
  • Wear light-colored clothing at night, short enough to prevent tripping. Add reflective tape or reflectors to dark colored costumes.
  • Make props such as daggers or swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood. TRICK-OR-TREATING SAFETY:
  • Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
  • Have children bring treats home for adult inspection before they are eaten.
  • Adults should accompany small and elementary school age children when they are trick-or-treating and send older children in groups.
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay.
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Keep costumed children away from pets. The pet may not recognize the children and become frightened.

CDC Trick-or-Treat Tips

Fire Prevention Week: October 3rd - 9th

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 4, 2021

October 3, 2021 - The City of Traverse City is highlighting Fire Prevention Week. This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and safety tips, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week

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!