New road spurs "pay it forward" campaign

Community wants more people to consider paying the Band's generosity forward.

The Grand Traverse County Road Commission started working on resurfacing Holiday Road back in May and finished ahead of schedule.

7&4 News is told it cost more than one million dollars, and that is largely thanks to a donation by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Now the community is giving back by paying it forward.

The road was in such bad disrepair, residents say they did everything to avoid driving on it.

â??We made a concerted effort to not do things because we just didnâ??t want to go down the road,â?? said Tom Moschovich.

The potholes were so massive, people had to drive around them or risk damaging their vehicles.

â??I think we spent $8-900 in the last six months: front end alignment, a new rim, a new tire, suspension,â?? said Jim Kalajian.

A failed millage and nixed tax attempts in 2009 and 2010 left residents traveling the bumpy road.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians jumped in with a major donation to kick-start the construction.

The road reopened this week to rave reviews.

â??No more potholes! No more giant puddles you can't drive your car through. It's a vast improvement,â?? said John Beattie.

â??I just can't wait to get on that road now. It's so smooth and safe,â?? said Kalajian.

The people living in the Holiday Hills area wanted to express their thanks to the Grand Traverse Band, and decided to pay their generosity forward, collecting more than $5,100 from around 90 people in the neighborhood. They made a donation in the name of the Band and Team Elmerâ??s to the Holiday Hills Ski Area, the non-profit organization right in their backyards.

â??We're proud to help Mt. Holiday out because we all use itâ??either in the summer or winter or bothâ??whether you're walking or skiing or playing disc golf,â?? said Kalajian.

For many community members, the donation does not express their thanks enough.

â??You just can't thank them more. They're doing something that's an absolute need for the community and they stepped up and did it,â?? said Moschovich.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new road on August 20.