October 2023 / Vol. 01

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October 9

Learn More


October 9

Learn More



Fire Prevention Week is observed annually in the United States in early October, which marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It is a time to raise awareness about the importance of fire safety and prevention.

Pay Attention to Fire Prevention

2023 Fire Prevention Week will be observed October 8th - 14th. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when cooking. 

TCFD Annual Open House

Join the Traverse City Fire Department (TCFD) at their annual Open House on Saturday, October 14, 2023 from noon - 3 pm. Learn about the important work that firefighters do and to ask questions about fire safety and prevention.

Attendees can enjoy checking out turnout gear and fire trucks, which provides a unique chance to get up close and personal with the tools that firefighters use to keep us all safe. The activity center, featuring games and coloring, is a great way to engage younger attendees and teach them about fire safety in a fun way. The event will include free blood pressure checks and kitchen cooking safety demonstrations. Additionally, visits with the Traverse City Police Department will provide a well-rounded look at the emergency response resources available to our community!

Knox Box Updates

Are you a commercial property or business owner in the City of Traverse City? Is your Knox Box up to date? Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to make an appointment with the TCFD to update your Knox Box.

A Knox Box is a small, wall-mounted safe that holds building keys and contact information for fire departments and emergency medical services to retrieve in emergency situations. The TCFD holds the master keys to access Knox Boxes within the jurisdiction. This allows firefighters to quickly enter a building without having to force entry or delay entry waiting for a key holder.

In the event of emergency, TCFD will gain access with forcible entry tools. Every alarm is treated as a worst case scenario until proven otherwise. Access is gained and a property damage report is completed afterwards.

Make an appointment to update your Knox Box with Fire Inspector Jacob Steichen,, (231) 631-7423.



This week, the Traverse City Arts Commission's latest project kicked off at Bryan Park!

A mural, titled “Our Neighborhood Spot” is being completed by local artist Katherine Corden Bellisario. The mural is part of the Arts Commission’s “Art in the Park” initiative, an annual collaboration with the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Commission to fund and install public art in City parks.

Katherine’s concept was selected from over 20 submissions by artists from around the county. Originally from Grosse Pointe, and a University of Michigan graduate, Katherine moved to Traverse City in 2019. Now with two young children, Katherine hopes her work will accentuate an already beautiful place she enjoys with friends and family.



On Thursday, October 12, 2023, Traverse Connect will host a virtual City Commission and Mayoral Candidate Forum. Tune in to learn about the City Commission and Mayoral candidates' thoughts on housing, tax increment financing, infrastructure, and more.

Joining the forum will be Mayoral candidates, Tom Mair and Amy Shamroe, as well as City Commission candidates, Jackie Anderson, Kenneth Funk, Caroline Kennedy, Mary Mills, Shea O'Brien, Merek Roman, Heather Shaw, and Mitch Treadwell.

This virtual event is free and open to the general public. Join via Zoom on October 12 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. or access the recorded forum on the Traverse Connect website within 24 hours following the event. Learn more about the candidates and register to receive your Zoom link. 




The City has a new branded drop box for submission of absentee ballots and election mail. City voters should use the new drop box instead of the red drop box used in the past.

Located at the Governmental Center, this drop box is designed specifically for the use of voters who reside within the City of Traverse City's jurisdiction. It is important to note that if you reside in a neighboring jurisdiction, you must submit your absentee ballot to that jurisdiction's designated drop box.

The use of drop boxes has become increasingly popular as a means of submitting absentee ballots due to their convenience and security. With this new Election Drop Box in place, voters can rest assured that their ballots will be safely, with 24/7 camera monitoring, and securely received!



The City Commission and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will have a joint Study Session on Monday, October 9, 2023 to discuss the Moving Downtown Forward TIF Plan.

Over the last several months, the DDA Board of Directors has been working on an amended TIF-97 Plan. Through the amendment, the DDA is proposing that the plan be renamed the "Moving Downtown Forward TIF Plan” (MDF TIF Plan).

There are two formal components that create the Financing Plan:

1. The TIF Plan identifies what the tax capture will be used for. If a project is not contained within the TIF Plan, the project cannot be funded by TIF.

2. The Development Plan describes the cost, location and resources needed for the implementation of the community improvements that are to take place in the Development District.

Discussion at the Study Session will include a review of the history of TIF 97, the process of amending the TIF plan, highlight potential projects for the new MDF TIF Plan, explain innovative strategies in collaboration with taxing partners, and describe the mechanics of tax increment financing and a proposed extension of the new TIF plan.




At their October 9, 0223 Study Session, the City Commission will hear a presentation from staff regarding detours and access as it pertains to multi-modal transportation during Segment 1 of MDOT Grandview Parkway Project.

An overview of Segment 1 will be provided at the meeting. During Segment 1, there will be a detour in effect for approximately 8 weeks, from March 13, 2024, to mid-May 2024, weather permitting. Eastbound traffic will be maintained on the northernmost lane of the existing road until it is detoured up Peninsula Drive. The detour for westbound traffic will be Eighth Street. A change in the detour was made this past summer and considered a number of factors, including, improved worker safety, keeping the project on schedule, and saving $396,130 in the City's utility infrastructure improvements that are taking place simultaneously.


Project Background

MDOT plans to rebuild a 2-mile section of US-31/Grandview Parkway/Front Street in 2024 between Garfield Avenue and Division Street. This project will result in operational enhancements at the intersections of Division Street, Hall Street, Front Street, and Peninsula Drive, drainage improvements, Americans with Disabilities Act review and upgrades, repairs to the Murchie Bridge over the Boardman River, and new signs and pavement markings. 

In addition, the City of Traverse City is investing $3.5 million to replace underground water and wastewater utilities as part of the project.

The major project is anticipated to begin in March 2024 and will be divided into two segments. The first segment, Garfield Avenue to Front Streets is expected to take place from March 2024 to July 2024. The second segment, Front Street to Division Street is expected to take place from July 2024, after the conclusions of the National Cherry Festival, to November 2024.

In September 2023, pre-construction work began on MDOT’s project to rebuild the 2-mile section of US-31/M-37/M-72 (Grandview Parkway/Front Street), Division to Garfield. The

Preconstruction Work

In September 2023, pre-construction work began on MDOT’s project to rebuild the 2-mile section of US-31/M-37/M-72 (Grandview Parkway/Front Street), Division to Garfield.

  • Installation of a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and East Front Street, removal of a portion of the center median at Grandview Parkway, and temporary paving at the north end of Railroad Avenue connecting it directly to Front Street.
  • Removal of a portion of the center median island on Grandview Parkway at Division Street.
  • Widening the turn radius at Railroad Avenue and Eighth Street for detour traffic, and installation of a temporary sidewalk ramp.
  • Installation of a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of US-31 (Front Street) and Milliken Drive.
  • Installation of a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Washington Street.
  • Installation of advance warning and detour signs for 2024 work.


The City will be working closely with MDOT and Team Elmer’s to provide the latest updates throughout this major project to ensure accessibility and safety.




Thank you to the Traverse City Arts Commissioners, Roger Amundsen, Caitlin Early, and Chelsie O'Brien, Commissioner Mark Wilson, and Mayor Pro Tem Amy Shamroe for participating in the Up North Pride activities and celebrations this past week. We appreciate your commitment to making Traverse City a safe space for all.


The lumber boom in Traverse City helped rebuild Chicago after the Chicago Fire of 1871. The blaze in the Windy City killed approximately 300 people, destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city, and left over 100,000 residents homeless. 

Many people believe the Michigan connection to the Chicago fire is limited to the fact that lumber from Michigan helped rebuild the city. However, the Chicago fire was not the only blaze that destroyed lives in the Midwest that day. In Michigan, fires broke out in Holland, Manistee, Alpena, Glenn Haven, and 40 other small settlements. The “Thumb” area of the state was hit especially hard, where 90% of homes were destroyed. More than 3,900 square miles of Michigan were destroyed, including thousands of buildings, horses, barns, stores and mills. Hundreds of families were left homeless.

As we embark on Fire Prevention Week, be sure to thank a Firefighter!

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