Parks board President Alisa Kroupa said her board wants to consider a host of options for Power Island, including selling the park to Peninsula Township for $1 and seeing if the state of Michigan wants to get involved in the park’s operations.
Kroupa said in each of those scenarios the island would remain a public park.
“The park will always be a park. It’s not like we are damaging something or turning away a park from our residents,” she said.
Kroupa said parks officials will work with county attorneys to determine the status of Power Island’s deed limits and what can be done with the park.
Parks board members asked county attorneys to explore similar questions about Twin Lakes Park, which Kroupa suggested be leased to a private, nonprofit group.
Kroupa said both potential moves align with the parks board’s focus on working with outside groups who run recreational programs, while the county would serve as a sort of landlord.
Parks commissioners scrapped their old strategic plan and wrote a new one to align with that philosophy after four new members joined the board starting late last year.
The turnover on the board followed a period of infighting among parks commissioners about whether the county should operate its own recreation programs, and accusations that parks board member Christine Maxbauer used her seat on the county commission to undermine parks board decisions with which she disagreed.
One of Maxbauer’s most vocal critics, Scott Robertson, was ousted from the board in November after officials learned he lived outside Grand Traverse County.
The other, William Dorrier, applied for reappointment to his seat, but then withdrew his application at the last minute, Kroupa said.
Dorrier could not be reached for comment.