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February 10, 2014

Chamber withdraws contract offer

TRAVERSE CITY — Area Chamber of Commerce officials withdrew their $35,000 offer to assist Traverse City Light & Power further its relationship with key commercial customers.

Board members for the city-owned utility recently asked Doug Luciani, president and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, to work with the utility’s director to better define the services Chamber officials would offer and how board members could measure the results. But Tim Arends, TCL&P executive director, said chamber officials told him they did not believe enough board support existed to pursue the deal.

“Some of the things the board was asking for we really weren’t able to answer their questions,” Arends said. “We couldn’t really say what the program was going to be because we were going to be developing it over the first year.”

The original proposal involved chamber staff arranging a series of eight targeted meetings with key commercial customers, providing regular written outreach efforts, and hosting one larger social and educational event. The contract also would upgrade TCL&P to a premier Chamber membership and provide free tickets to events such as the Chamber’s annual dinner, golf outing, and other social and educational activities the utility could share with its key customers.

Arends said he will pursue more traditional in-house means to bolster the utility’s relationship with key account holders and request the utility board approve expanding a half-time position to full time.

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