Home > Announcement, Bayfront, Economics, Editorial, Grand Visioning, Parks and Recreation > Traverse City’s 2012 bayfront project may get big boost from utility

Traverse City’s 2012 bayfront project may get big boost from utility


Proposed Clinch Park Plaza looking onto natural play area (Hamilton-Anderson).

Tonight Traverse City Light and Power Board (TCLP) is considering making a $1-million contribution towards the City’s 2012 Bayfront project at Clinch Park. It is a big-chunk-of-change and the board showed due diligence by requesting more time to process this request by the City Commission after it was first put before them on Valentine’s Day.

Since that point, the board has worked with staff, both on TCLP and at the City, to clarify what exactly TCLP’s contribution would fund. The big items TCLP is being asked to fund are the plaza area, grade terracing near the beach, and complete rerouting of the multi-use trail. View the current mock-ups here (PDF).

Unfortunately, sour politics have muddled the process and made this collaborative effort more contentious than necessary (REagle).  It needs to be noted, the majority of board members expressed a willingness to work with the City and they recognize that TCLP’s contribution couldn’t come at a better time for the bayfront project. Their questions were more about “how” and “what”, than “if”.

The first phase of the bayfront needs to be as complete and compelling as possible, and unfortunately the $1.6 million budget now allocated isn’t enough to do that. It wouldn’t be enough no matter who was hired or worked on it; projects like the bayfront cost money and require professional services beyond the scope of City staff. Having TCLP join the project will provide much-needed momentum for this first phase and, hopefully, the interest and vision needed to move forward on future phases.

As I’ve shared with the TCLP board, despite processes not always being to our liking, we need to ask ourselves if we can improve upon what is brought before us. As someone who has put in countless hours in meetings concerning the bayfront and as a rate-payer, I support their effort and willingness to improving the bayfront project, however they see fit.

Tonight’s meeting is at 5:15 at the Governmental Center.

As always, I invite your comments and feedback on this issue below. 

* The Record Eagle editorial from Feb. 19th (RE) did a nice job of laying out the current questions.




The Pedestrian Ninjas need your help…thank you.



  1. T. Werner
    February 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Shouldn’t the City be using L&P as the local matching funds to leverage money from private and public institutions. To me this comes across as a bit lazy on the City’s part. “It’s too hard to write grant proposals and raise money.” Maybe the City should talk to some our fine local non-profit organizations about how to fund a worthwhile project?

    If it was your $1 million (and it is if your a City resident) would you just hand it over to be used on the project without asking that it be leveraged as much as possible?

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