Infrastructure, Medical Marijuana, Housing Identified As City Priorities

Traverse City commissioners this week narrowed a wide range of city projects and plans into a top list of priorities for the coming year – including focusing on parking and other city infrastructure, setting a medical marijuana policy, expanding housing options, planning for the city’s long-term financial health, and working on transportation planning and corridor development.Commissioners met for a lengthy study session Wednesday with city staff and facilitator Mary Grover to hammer out a priority list for the 2018-19 budget. City Manager Marty Colburn noted the city has an extensive list of projects and possible policy issues needing to be tackled at any given time – ranging from short-term rental debates to daycare regulations to economic development programs to building height rules – and sought input from commissioners on their top five priorities for the coming year.“We’re not taking (anything) off the list,” Colburn explained. “It’s a matter of prioritization. We have a limited amount of staff time and amount of hours and human resources. That comes back down to money that we invest into all of the different discussions.” Colburn continued that as he prepared next year’s budget – which commissioners will approve later this spring – he would “place resources” into addressing their top priorities and making sure appropriate staffing was in place to tackle those issues. “If all five of (priorities) are in the planning department, that’s going to influence me with my recommendation to you,” Colburn offered as one example.Commissioners used a numbered ranking system to each list their top priorities from among approximately 20 compiled by staff and commission recommendations. The votes were then tallied and combined together to determine the board’s overall list of goals.Topping the list as the number-one priority was “stewardship of resources,” a general category that included parking, stormwater, energy efficiency,

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