Mission Point Lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Mission Point Lighthouse on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Here’s a round-up of news out of the Peninsula Township offices. The offices are currently open, with staff in the office during normal business hours, but seeing residents by appointment only.

If you don’t need to see a staff member, feel free to use the after-hours drop box in front of the office to drop off anything that needs to get to a staff member.

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For property tax-related questions, contact the Treasurer’s office, (231) 223-4484, or email Treasurer Brad Bickle, [email protected], or Deputy Treasurer Marge Achorn, [email protected].

And for all election and cemetery inquiries, contact the clerk’s office, (231) 223-7321, or email Clerk Becky Chown, [email protected], or Deputy Clerk Robin Noval, [email protected].

DNR Lease for Kelley Park – Public Hearing

A public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, 7 p.m. during the Township Board meeting at the Peninsula Township Hall. This project has been ongoing for some time, including a community meeting with the DNR in 2017, the Township Board voting to move the boat launch from Haserot Beach to Kelley Park in 2019, and the DNR nixing the idea of the boat launch last year.

The current draft of the lease, however, does include a single-lane ramp launch with parking for vehicles with trailers, as well as a separate carry-down boat launch for kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and smaller vessels.

The lease is a 30-year lease beginning April 1, 2021, and ending on March 31, 2051. The DNR would own the land and lease it to Peninsula Township for $0 per year. In lieu of payment, the Township is responsible for operation, maintenance and improvement of the premises (they generally apply for grants for these types of projects).

Click here to read a draft of the lease prior to the public hearing. If you can’t make the meeting, email comments to Township Planner Randy Mielnik, [email protected].

Kelley Park Boat Launch on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Kelley Park on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

Peninsula Township Planner Retiring

Randy Mielnik, who has held the job of Township Planner since 2018, is retiring at the end of May. Thank you, Randy, for shepherding the Township through the past few years and getting the ball rolling on the Participate Old Mission website.

​To that end, the Township is accepting applications for a new planner to take Randy’s place. The Planning Director is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including master plan development/updates, zoning updates, special use permits, community engagement, grant writing/administration, and planning coordination with adjacent jurisdictions and other government entities.

This position requires strong communication and organizational skills and an ability to work effectively with others. A master’s degree in urban planning, public administration, or a related field is preferred, but not required. Applicants must be able to demonstrate substantial years of experience in the aforementioned job skills and/or in related fields. AICP certification is preferred, but not required.

If interested, submit a cover letter and resume to Peninsula Township, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686, no later than Thursday, April 22, 2021. For more info, contact the Clerk’s office, (231) 223-7321, or email [email protected].

DTE Gas Renewal Project

DTE’s Gas Renewal Project will take place on the south end of the Old Mission Peninsula beginning April 5, 2021. This project involves modernizing the company’s natural gas infrastructure by renewing gas mains and service lines, and upgrading natural gas meters.

The project will start at Front Street and Barlow, and run east and north up the Old Mission Peninsula. It’s expected to be completed by the end of July, however most of the work on the Peninsula that might impact traffic is expected to be completed by the end of June.

For more info, contact DTE, (616) 551-2621 (general questions), or (616) 226-6913 (restoration concerns). Read more about the project here. The yellow lines below indicate where the new pipe and services will be installed.

DTE Gas Renewal Project | DTE Photo
DTE Gas Renewal Project | DTE Photo

Parks Committee Member Needed

​Peninsula Township is accepting letters of interest for one immediate opening on the Peninsula Township Parks Committee, which meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. Additional meetings and study sessions might be scheduled. Learn more about the Peninsula Township parks here.

Applicants must be qualified electors of the Township. Submit a letter of interest and/or resume to Township Clerk Becky Chown, [email protected], or by mail to 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686, by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 12, 2021.

Part-time Lighthouse Retail Assistant Needed

Mission Point Lighthouse is in need of a reliable, retail-minded person with hospitality and people skills for up to 12 hours per week from mid-April through November. Some evenings, weekends, and holidays will be required but hours are somewhat flexible. Pay is $14/hour, with no benefits. Applicant must also be able to climb 37 steps a couple of times a day.

Tasks include:

  • Helping schedule local volunteers to work on the keeper’s day off;
  • Assisting manager on keeper switch day;
  • Training volunteers to work in the gift shop and to perform light cleaning duties; and
  • Assisting manager with community events

If interested, submit a resume and references to Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz, [email protected], by April 5, 2021.

Frost Restrictions Lifted

The seasonal weight and speed restrictions will be lifted on county roads in Grand Traverse County beginning 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. For more info, contact the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, (231) 922-4848.​​

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

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. Randy Mielnik has been and is our best planners in the last number of years. We hope we can find someone of his ability and professional expertise. Randy you will enjoy your retirement here in GT county. Thank you for your service.

  2. Good luck with your retirement, Randy; you have well earned it! We wil all miss you and your steady hand at the Planning rudder.


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