Traverse City residents to vote on wetland conservation

A few years ago Traverse City damaged wetlands in the process of building a new road.

In order to reconcile this, the State of Michigan has ordered the city to dedicate a certain amount of land to wetland conservation, in perpetuity.

Benjamin Marrentette is Traverse City’s city clerk. He said the city will ask residents to set aside land for conservation in November.

“What the proposal is in front of the voters is to ask them, city residents, for permission for the city to place a conservation easement on a portion of park land at the commons for wetland mitigation efforts. Which really means the city is creating new wetlands to offset the impact that we had on the wetlands that were removed as a result of construction of the road.”

Marrentette said residents won’t be missing much if they approve the move.

“Right now it’s essentially a marsh, it’s not used for anything right now because it’s pretty wet over there anyway, in this particular area so it’s a portion of property that’s really not getting any active use.”

Marrentette says the city has already invested roughly 80-thousand dollars into the area.

If the proposal is shot down, the city will be back at square one, requiring it to find another location for the new wetland.