Here’s a roundup of recent news out of the Peninsula Township offices:
New Trustee: Dave Sanger was appointed as a Trustee to the Peninsula Township Board. Dave replaces Maura Sanders, who recently moved to the Detroit area. He will continue his duties as the Peninsula Township Enforcement Officer, reviewing township properties and regulations, and ensuring compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.
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Junk Ordinance: The Township Board voted to deny Junk Ordinance No. 53, which has been under review for some time. At the April 10, 2018 meeting, Township Clerk Joanne Westphal noted that it’s impractical to ask people to build storage facilities to store or hide farming equipment. “Do we want to have hundreds of pole barns out here,” she asked, “especially in the farming community, just to hide equipment?” Instead, the current junk ordinance will be reviewed by the Director of Zoning, Enforcement Officer and township attorney to see where it can be improved. They may also propose a new Blight and Nuisance Ordinance.
Fire Department: Station #2 (on Center Road in near town) is nearly ready to accommodate two staff personnel around the clock. Fire Chief Fred Gilstorff has a target date of June 1, 2018 to have staff in the facility. The fire department is also in the process of hiring three full-time paramedic firefighters, with a goal to have them in place by July 1, 2018.
The 81 on East Bay Development: The Township Board reviewed and approved The 81’s Condominium Development Bylaws and Master Deed (read them in the April 24 Town Board packet here, near the bottom), along with the Storm Water and Sewer Plan. However, the developer still hasn’t paid the $30,000 escrow requested by the Township a month ago. Township attorney Greg Meihn is addressing this with the developer. The Board also approved the road names requested by The 81 developer; the main road will be named “Double Eagle Drive,” and the cul-de-sac lot will be called “Snug Harbor Court.” There are still some lawsuits pending with the developer, the township, and the nonprofit group Preserve Old Mission. I am in the process of researching this and writing an update.
Festival of Races. The Township Board voted to approve the 2018 Festival of Races sponsored by the National Cherry Festival and Chateau Grand Traverse, contingent on an outstanding payment of $322. This race takes place during the Cherry Festival, and Peninsula Drive will be closed from Center Road (“The Forks”) to Montmorency Lane. Look for an upcoming story with more details.
Post Office: A new clerk has been hired for the Old Mission Post Office. If all goes well, she should be trained and up and running by the first part of June. While no name has been released yet, we do know that she lives on the Old Mission Peninsula. Stay tuned for more information. (If you have questions on this item, contact the Traverse City Post Office, 231-946-9616).
Park Commission. There are several projects pending for the Peninsula Township parks, including:
- Eight grills are being replaced.
- Materials are being ordered for ten table tops.
- A new split rail fence is in the works for the Bowers Harbor Park Expansion.
- Shingles are being replaced on the Mission Point Lighthouse storage shed.
- DNR Trust Fund signs have arrived and are being installed.
- A new ten-foot wooden plank ramp is being installed at the Haserot Beach dock to allow for easier and safer access (replacing the slippery rocks and cement blocks currently there).
- A new dredging permit is being obtained for Haserot Beach which allows for dredging three times per year.
- Other projects include acquiring a flag for Bowers Harbor Park, installing donated basketball nets, ordering a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign for Haserot Beach, and removing the backboard of the tennis court at Bowers Harbor Park.
If you have questions about any of these news items, feel free to contact Peninsula Township, (231) 223-7322.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb