- Associated Press - Sunday, June 1, 2014

LONG LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Authorities are considering ways to increase safety at a Traverse City-area park where three teens have drowned over four years.

One year ago, the Grand Traverse County parks and recreation commission approved a range of safety improvements for Twin Lakes Park in Long Lake Township. Several changes have yet to be implemented, including staffing the park’s beach with lifeguards, the Traverse City Record-Eagle (http://bit.ly/1kfyNWn ) reported Sunday.

The commission in March rejected a proposal to ban swimming in North Twin Lake.

“People will jump in this lake. It’s going to happen,” Traverse City resident Jennifer Stoll told the commission. “We cannot baby-sit them, but if this happens again, will we be able to look at each other and say ‘We did everything we could?’”


Now, commissioners are considering stronger penalties for swimming outside the designated swimming area at North Twin Lake.

Parks board President Alisa Kroupa said letters are being sent to lawmakers asking them to introduce legislation letting park authorities prosecute rules violations as municipal civil infractions.

Parks officials also plan to bring in a water safety expert to review practices at Twin Lakes Park. Parks and Recreation Director Jason Jones said that will occur after the commission’s June 20 meeting.

Kroupa said she hopes an expert’s review and following up on any findings will help address the public’s concerns.

“I just want some closure for the community and the families,” she said. “I really do. It is an open wound.”

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com