Kelley Park Boat Launch on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Kelley Park on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The Peninsula Township offices are now open, with staff working there during normal business hours:

  • Monday 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

However, due to COVID-19 protocols, they are asking that you make an appointment to see staff and use the drop box in front of the office to help limit person to person contact.

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If you need to see someone, check the Township Directory and email the staff member you think will best be able to help you. Masks are required, and when you visit the offices for an appointment, you will be buzzed in via an intercom at the door.

Here’s a round-up of recent news out of Peninsula Township…

Kelley Park Boat Launch

At last week’s Township Board meeting, Township Supervisor Rob Manigold said they are in the process of procuring a lease from the Michigan DNR for the Kelley Park boat launch, located on Mission Road across from the Old Mission Inn.

The lease language was drafted and passed to the Township Board and Parks Committee for comments. The DNR asked for a few minor corrections, and “the ball is now in their court,” says Manigold. They are hoping the lease will be signed in the next couple of weeks, at which point the project will move to the Grand Traverse County Drain Commissioner and EGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy).

The Township hopes that the Kelley Park boat launch will be constructed and ready to go by the end of this summer. The boat launch at Haserot Beach, which was destroyed in a storm last year, will not be re-constructed for the summer months.

M37 Transfer

At last week’s Township Board meeting, Manigold gave an update on this issue, which involves the jurisdictional transfer of M37/Center Road from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to the Grand Traverse County Road Commission (GTCRC). The Township opposes the transfer for a variety of reasons, which you can read more about here.

The transfer would also involve removing the Pure Michigan Byway designation from M37, as the road would no longer be a state highway. The public hearing for this, scheduled for May 21, 2020 was canceled; however, Manigold said there was a large influx of letters from Peninsula Township residents opposing both the Pure Michigan Byway removal and the transfer of the road to the GTCRC.

Manigold said a representative from MDOT will drive the road with him in July, and another meeting will be scheduled in the fall. “We’re not out of the woods on this, and we need to stay on top of it,” he said. Read more about this issue here.

Peninsula Fire Department Station 3

Peninsula Township has purchased the land for the new Fire Station 3 from the Switzer family at 19270 Center Road, between Swaney Road and Tompkins Road.

The Township’s engineering firm, Gourdie-Fraser of Traverse City, has received three bids for the project, which you can view here. A public hearing will be held at a special meeting of the Township Board on Tuesday, July 7, 7 p.m. at the Township Hall.

A copy of the plans, bids, and letter of recommendation from Gourdie-Fraser may be viewed at the Township offices, 13235 Center Road, during normal business hours (see Township office protocols above).

The Township Board invites comments from residents regarding bids or an alternative course of action. Written comments regarding this item may be submitted to the Peninsula Township Clerk, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686, no later than 12 p.m. on July 7, 2020.

Easing Restrictions on OMP Wineries

At last week’s Township Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to ease restrictions on outdoor activities for Old Mission Peninsula wineries, restaurants, churches and the Peninsula Market.

Specifically, because of the limited capacity restrictions on these establishments due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus, the Township is allowing the use of roof-only tents, umbrellas, pergolas, freestanding awnings and sunsails for outdoor gatherings through the end of 2020. There are no restrictions on the size of these, as each establishment has different needs, noted Township attorney Greg Miehn.

The easing of this ordinance restriction, as proposed by Marie-Chantal Dalese, President and CEO of Chateau Chantal on behalf of the OMP Wine Trail wineries, will help with the reduced occupancy due to COVID-19 limitations and make outdoor spaces more viable.

The use of igloos was also proposed; however, the zoning restriction for igloos remains in effect. Also, the noise ordinance also remains in effect as outlined in the Township Zoning Ordinance.

Also Read…

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 and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, 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 I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our 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 OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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