Need a vote on FishPass

Residents are owed a vote on FishPass. The City Charter requires parks be “dedicated solely to … park purposes." When a park goes from public use to non-park use — i.e., to a research facility for fish biologists — a public vote is required.

This fish research station in Union Street Dam Park will be a permanent, fenced-in facility with 400-foot concrete channels in the river and a 400-foot concrete road; the area will not be available to the public. The memorandum of understanding for the project anticipates multiple renewals and, if successful, a permanent agreement for operation of the facility. This is disposal of parkland under the city charter, also requiring a public vote. If not successful, the city will have a fenced-in facility with concrete in the river and on the shore; there are no plans for what will be done. City taxpayers will pay for removal.

The plan is to clear-cut much of the park – despite concerns about clear cutting for development and the new Tree Ordinance. A $25,000 donation to plant trees elsewhere — that won’t replace the beautiful shaded areas in this historic park.

Residents deserve a vote on this change in use and disposal of the Union Street Dam Park.

Judy Nelson

Traverse City

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