TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Light& Power board members will consider a $400,000 proposal to bury power lines beneath the Boardman River and a proposed downtown development as part of a brownfield redevelopment project.
Developers Tim Burden and Mike Wills of Midtown Development Inc. want to build 12 to 14 townhouses between West State Street and the Boardman River at the intersection with Pine Street. Power lines burial is part of a local match of infrastructure improvements required by the state for the project to qualify for brownfield redevelopment funds.
The utility board will consider the request when it meets today at 5:15 p.m. at the governmental Center.
“The state wants the locals to be part of the project,” said Jean Derenzy, deputy Grand Traverse County planner. “We can work without it if they don’t want to do the undergrounding beneath the river, but the undergrounding on site we need.”
TCL&P already plans to spend about $1.4 million to bury power lines along State and Pine streets all the way to the north bend of the Boardman River where the power lines will be placed beneath a planned pedestrian bridge. This proposal would keep the transmission lines under the ground south of State Street through the development and under the river to Hannah Park.
“It’s not required to go under the river, but it’s my recommendation because after they develop that property we won’t be able to do it,” said Tim Arends, TCL&P executive director.
Buried lines at the development would become part of a public easement the developers will grant to the city to extend the sidewalk on Pine Street south to the river, where it would join up with an extension of the river boardwalk across the development’s waterfront.