TRAVERSE CITY — Infrastructure needs will force Traverse City leaders to prioritize millions in spending for years to come.

The city’s six-year capital improvement plan includes high-dollar bridge, road, water and sewer projects, among others. Plus, a consultant hired to help Traverse City carry out its Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater grant recently told commissioners they need to find another $2 million per year to keep the city’s storm water system in good repair.

Five candidates vying for three seats on the city commission had differing ideas on how the city can keep up with the need to reinvest in public infrastructure.

Michele Howard said she’s in favor of establishing a storm water utility.

“I think we have to take a hard look at our budget, and we have to make it a priority,” she said. “I know that there’s an option that maybe the Michigan Legislature will let us create a storm water utility, and I’m in favor of that.”