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Traverse City Residents won't be voting on FishPass in November's ballot


Traverse City residents won’t be voting on the proposed FishPass project in November.

That’s after city commissioners decided not to put the question on the ballot and instead continue with an appeal process in court.

FishPass is a first-of-its-kind project to control which fish can swim and spawn in the Boardman River.

The goal is to open the river to native fish while keeping invasives out.

But in April, after a lawsuit from a resident, circuit court judge Thomas Power ruled Traverse City needs to let voters decide on FishPass.

That’s because the area where the project would be built was deemed to be city parkland.

City Commissioner Roger Putman doesn't agree with that.

“It’s not just the decision on whether or not this particular project will move forward. It’s whether or not any city property can be claimed as parkland even though it is not officially designated as such in any of the charter or the city records.”

Putman says the outcome of this case could have implications for other municipalities in Michigan.

Now, the FishPass project could be stuck in court for months.