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Focus Macomb - April 2024

Message from Mark

Mark Hackel

Hello and happy spring! It’s been a beautiful few weeks, with sunny days and some warm weather. In my opinion, there’s no better time to experience all that Macomb County has to offer. From our parks and trails to our fun local events, there’s something for everyone. So get out there and connect with your community this season. You’ll find out why Macomb is a great place to call home.

This season is also a busy one in the County and there are a few things I’d like to note.

First, we recently marked National Work Zone Awareness Week. Over the next few months, you’ll see the hard-working crews from the Macomb County Department of Roads out on projects across our community. So please do your part to protect them by following this guidance:

  • Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
  • Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.

We’ve also got the Macomb Business Awards coming up. If you don’t have your tickets yet, make sure to reserve your spot for the May 9 event soon. This is one of the region’s premier networking events, featuring 400 business and community leaders. It’s also a chance to celebrate a variety of local organizations in several categories like Hometown Hero, Hidden Gem and Best Place to Work. All told, it’s a great time and I’d love to see you there.

Now I’d like to highlight two exciting opportunities coming up in May with Macomb Community Action (MCA). You can find more information in articles within this newsletter, but please mark your calendars for the 34th annual Walk for Warmth on May 18, and then our Community Action 60th Anniversary Celebration, which occurs later that day in the same location. Both events highlight and support the important work of MCA – which delivers services from Head Start free preschool to food assistance to weatherization support. I’m proud of this work because it helps Macomb County residents from all walks of life. I hope you can join us and experience this for yourself too.

In closing, I want to note that it was recently National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time to honor and appreciate our dispatchers and telecommunicators who are the first step in keeping our communities safe. These individuals are the lifeline between help and those in need, so please join me in showing your appreciation for their service.

Thank you, take care and as always, for the latest local news, programs, services and information, visit 


Macomb County and community team up for Adopt-A-County Road program

Adopt-A-Road image

The Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) is asking residents to spring into action to help keep the roads and community clean by adopting a county roadway. Applications to adopt the more than 320 miles of available roadways are open year-round and can be completed online.

There are 330 groups registered for the program and registered participants can cleanup adopted roads May 1 through September 2.

“Whether people are visiting Macomb County for the first time or driving on our roads daily, the appearance of our roadways matters,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “The Adopt-A-County Road program is a great opportunity for individuals and groups to take an active role in our community while making a positive environmental change.”

There is no cost to participate in the program and individuals, families, businesses, charitable organizations, schools, and other groups can adopt a section of road. A simple three step adoption process and a commitment of two cleanups per year is all it takes to make a positive difference in Macomb County. MCDR provides safety vests, trash bags, and safety guidelines and information to registered participants.

As part of the program, participants receive roadside signage highlighting their organization and are included in the online map of adopted roads and the list of sponsors displayed on the Adopt-A-County Road website. All bags and safety vests are provided by the Department of Roads at no cost to participants. Following a cleanup, the MCDR maintenance department will pick up and dispose of the trash bags and other large items.

“While we work to build and repair our roads, everyone can help keep our community clean by adopting a county road,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “With no costs and an easy process to get started, the Adopt-A-County Road program makes it easy for individuals and groups to get involved.”

Additional information, an interactive map, and a comprehensive list of adopted and available roads can be found online at For additional information, questions, or to request an application by mail or email, contact MCDR’s Adopt-A-County Road program at or 586-463-8671.

Mark your calendar! Macomb Community Action is having a party and you’re invited

Macomb Community Action is having a party and you’re invited

Join Macomb Community Action on May 18 for our Community Action 60th Anniversary event. The entire community is welcome to the free family fun event. The event will serve as a celebration of community action in Macomb County and highlight the life-changing services that mean so much to so many in Macomb County.

The celebration will include food, fun, and games for all ages. Planned activities include:

  • Bingo
  • A Bounce House
  • Lawn Games
  • Music, and
  • Raffle Prizes 

Here are the details:

  • Date: May 18, 2024 – rain or shine
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Location:    Robert A. VerKuilen Building (back parking lot)
                        21885 Dunham Road
                        Clinton Township, MI 48036

In addition, Macomb Community Action is seeking volunteers to support a variety of on-site activities at the 60th Anniversary Event. Visit the online sign-up sheet for more details and to register as a volunteer.  

Macomb County Department of Roads honored with three statewide awards from the County Road Association

Left to right: Scott Wanagat, John Abraham, and Eric Dimoff accept CRA awards

The Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) received three statewide IMPRESS Awards at the 2024 County Road Association (CRA) Highway Conference held March 19-21 in Lansing, Michigan. The annual CRA IMPRESS Awards recognize county road agencies that demonstrate innovative strategies and tactics on notable projects in the categories of collaboration, communications, and operations.

“The team at the Department of Roads is committed to delivering a safe and efficient transportation system, superior public service, and timely information that enhances the traveling experience for all Macomb County road users,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “Macomb County takes a comprehensive, strategic, and mindful approach to enhancing our roadways and community. I’m proud of the work and everything the Department of Roads does to strengthen the connectivity of our region and helping make Macomb County a desirable place to live, work, and play."

CRA received a record number of award submissions this year and an independent panel of communications and operations experts from several of Michigan’s 83 county road agencies judged the IMPRESS Awards submissions. Award recipients were honored for projects that solved time constraints, labor costs, communication barriers, and fostered collaboration. MCDR received IMPRESS Awards in all three categories.


Collaboration: Innovate Mound funding

MCDR was recognized for the collaborative effort to pursue and secure a $98 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant for the transformational Innovate Mound project. The Mound Road corridor, which serves more than 100,000 motorists per day and is home to more than 70 major employers, had outlived it’s expected road life. Due to the work required on the road between I-696 and M-59, the project was not economically feasible with county and local funding alone. Macomb County, the cities of Warren and Sterling Heights, and more than 100 business and community leaders came together to support MCDR’s INFRA grant application for the project, which was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). The $220 million multi-year project broke ground in August of 2021 and opened on time and on budget in December of 2023. Innovate Mound showcased what can be accomplished when multiple levels of government work together to improve their community.


Communications: Macomb Work Zone lane closure and construction notifications

MCDR was presented with a communications award for the Macomb Work Zone, a weekly email that delivers lane closures and construction updates to subscribers. Between state, county, and local projects, there are hundreds of work zones in Macomb County each construction season. To help all road users navigate construction work in Macomb County, the Macomb Work Zone includes information and resources to keep the public informed and up to date of what's happening on Macomb County roadways. The email delivers project information including locations, lane closures, detour information, and anticipated timelines for construction operations. The Macomb Work Zone was launched in 2022 with 460 initial subscribers and has grown by more than 450% with more than 2,540 active subscribers to date.


Operations: The technology behind Innovate Mound

MCDR received an award for operations for the visionary technologies that are part of the Innovate Mound project. To match the level of technology of the manufacturers along the corridor and to prepare for mobility innovations, the Mound Road project includes new capabilities that are forward flexible to the evolving transportation and technology needs of the future, allowing Mound Road to be used as a test bed corridor for new and emerging mobility services. Another key innovation on the project was the development of a hybrid, wireline and wireless, communications network which includes traffic signals, traffic cameras, and intelligent transportation system (ITS) infrastructure that communicates and relays data directly to MCDR’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC). Macomb County’s advanced traffic signal systems, cameras, and ITS communications network allows MCDR to monitor real-time traffic flow, monitor and manage signal operations in real-time, and monitor and manage emergency responses to incidents on the roadways.

“Collaboration and communication play a vital role in our operations. Being recognized by our colleagues and fellow road agencies from across the state is a tremendous honor and a testament to the work of our department and personnel,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “Our team of more than 230 professionals is dedicated to providing Macomb County with a quality county road system and delivering a safe, efficient, and informative traveling experience to the motoring public.”


For more information about MCDR, Macomb County construction projects and locations, or to sign up for MCDR lane closure and construction updates, visit


Veterans Services expands no-cost tax preparation services through September 30

Macomb County Veteran Services has announced the expansion of its free tax preparation services, aimed at helping eligible taxpayers claim every credit and dollar available to them in 2024. With support from the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), Veteran Services has significantly increased its service capacity to better serve the community.

“We hope to help as many individuals as possible in navigating the complexities of the system and getting the returns they deserve,” County Executive Mark Hackel previously said. “This year we will accomplish this goal through a variety of options. We’re here to help."

Since 2016, Macomb County Veteran Services’ IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers have helped local low- to moderate-income individuals and families file their taxes at no cost to them. The tax program typically serves over 3,000 people. The following individuals can qualify for help: 

  • People who generally make $63,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers
  • All military veterans

With the assistance of the CEDAM grant, individuals who meet the aforementioned criteria and who have yet to file their tax return can schedule an in-person appointment for help. Service runs through September 30. Appointments can be made by calling 586-463-2537

Get Involved – Macomb Community Action’s 2024 Walk for Warmth

Macomb Community Action’s 2024 Walk for Warmth

During colder days, many of us kick up our thermostats and stay cozy indoors. But for some families and individuals in Macomb County, this isn’t an option. We’ve heard from parents who have to choose between putting food on the table and paying utility bills. Then there are elderly and disabled individuals who cannot afford to fix their furnaces. It’s heartbreaking.

Macomb Community Action works to combat this issue through emergency grants and assistance (utility bills, furnace repair and replacement) that keep heat running in hundreds of homes - but we also need your help too. Our 34th annual Walk for Warmth is one way you can pitch in. Join us for this pet-friendly 5K Fun Walk on Saturday, May 18th. Everyone is welcome!

Here are the details

Date:     May 18, 2024 – Rain or Shine
Time:    Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.; walking starts at 9 a.m. – enter Door C
Place:    Robert A. VerKuilen Building (West parking lot)
                21885 Dunham Road
                Clinton Township, MI 48036
Cost:      $25 per walker

To register prior to the event, go to

Save the dates


Stepping Out With the Stars


Stepping Out with the Stars

May 2, 2024



May the 4th Adoption Event - The Shelter Barks Back
May the 4th Adoption Event - The Shelter Barks Back

May 4, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Macomb County Animal Control



12th annual Macomb Business Awards logo

Macomb Business Awards

Event: May 9, 2024



Walk for Warmth - W4W2024
Walk for Warmth

May 18, 2024






Macomb Community Action is having a party and you’re invited


Macomb Community Action 60th Anniversary Party

May 18, 2024




Selfridge Air Show Open House 
Selfridge Air Show/Open House 

June 8 and June 9; Free admission 




For more happenings throughout the county, visit Make Macomb Your Home events and stay up to date with the Make Macomb Your Home official Facebook page.

Department:Planning and Economic Development