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      Peninsula Township approves new boat launch, park expansion

      With overwhelming support from community members, Peninsula Township board members unanimously approved a new boat launch in East Grand Traverse Bay and to expand Bowers Harbor Park.

      "It's a prayer answered," said Anglea Jensen, Owner of Old Mission Inn. "We've been praying on this for 15 years!"

      Years in the making: A new boat launch at the Old Mooring Place in Mission Harbor. And now, an application Peninsula Township board members unanimously approved Tuesday evening.

      "It's always easy when people come out and support the project and we definitely had good support this evening," said Rob Manigold, Peninsula Township Supervisor.

      An easy decision, and what residents call a positive step toward community and business growth with more fishing and boating opportunities.

      "I just came out here to support it due to the fact that it's just an ideal spot," said Dave Luzac, with the Grand Traverse County Sports Fishing Association. "It's a golden opportunity for Peninsula Township to have a very nice facility out here on the Peninsula for everybody to enjoy, and also for the people who come to visit the Traverse City area."

      Another easy decision: To expand Bower's Harbor Park with an overwhelming response from community members.

      "I think we had 60 letters all in favor," Manigold said.

      Peninsula Township board members unanimously approved the application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for a grant, which, if approved, will fund about 75% of the purchase price of the parcel of land. This expansion is also proposed for the development of up to 40 homes by the Bowers Harbor Land Company. If approved, it would more than triple the size of the park while expanding trails, and what residents call the very reason people visit the Traverse City Area.

      "They love to see the rolling acres, the vineyards and the parks and the boat launches and the beaches," said Jensen. "It's just the natural beauty of the preservation of the area. It's what it's all about."

      Peninsula Township Board members say this is just the beginning stages of both of these applications, which are both due April 1, 2013. After the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund looks them over, an announcement to find out if the township qualifies will be made in December 2013.