TRAVERSE CITY — Concerns about spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 are prompting local governments to move their meetings to the virtual realm, with Traverse City Light & Power among the latest.

The utility announced Monday that the public can watch its meetings as usual on cable channel 191 and online at, according to a release. Those who want to comment have some new options, though, since they won’t have a physical meeting to attend.

Public commenters can use the Zoom app and join the meeting with ID 498-915-060, according to the release. They can use the “raise hand” feature to indicate they have a comment.

Or, they can call 877- 853-5257 or 888-475-4499, according to the release. Those who direct dial can either send a text or email to prior to or during the meeting. Those who do should send their phone number, name, and item on which they’d like to comment. That way, the meeting host can unmute the participant during public comment.

Anyone who calls in can also wait until the host unmutes every caller and asks if there are any remaining who wish to speak, according to the release.

TCL&P Executive Director Tim Arends said the utility board will try the new format Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. for a special meeting. There’s only one agenda item: adopting a policy to meet virtually.

“With the board, we wanted to just limit it to just that one item in case we have to do meetings this way in the future,” he said. “We want to do it, I’m calling it a dry run.”

Arends said he also did a test run of the format with himself and other TCL&P staff, he said.

Meeting materials will be available online as usual, Arends said. Download them at


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