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Macomb County

 

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Message from Mark

 

It’s hard to believe that we're nearing the end of August and headed towards fall. This summer has certainly been one for the books! Fun events like the Gratiot Cruise and Blake’s Lavender Fest have kept my weekends busy, and while these occasions have passed, there’s still plenty to look forward to this season! Baseball is back at Jimmy John’s Field, farmers markets are in full swing outdoor concerts are taking place and festivals like the Armada Fair, Romeo Peach Festival and Richmond Good Old Days are quickly approaching. And we can’t forget boating and kayaking on beautiful natural assets like the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair and running, walking, biking and hiking our incredible parks and trail systems. There’s truly something for everyone during the warm summer months here in Macomb County.

However, warmer temperatures also bring about the potential for severe weather. And several weeks ago, northern Macomb experienced some extremely violent weather that inflicted substantial damage on our cities, villages and townships. Buildings were torn apart, power lines came down and trees were uprooted - but thankfully, no lives were lost in the chaos.

Since that event, we’ve seen our community come together to help those impacted by the storms. First and foremost, our dispatchers, emergency management personnel, police and firefighters took emergency calls and were on the scene to provide assistance to those in need, while our road crews moved quickly to shut down roads where danger was present. So I’d like to acknowledge every department and office that responded to that call for help. Your work ensured the safety of countless Macomb County residents and for that, I thank you. 

We also saw power companies, local businesses and organizations clear up debris, resolve outages and provide localized support. This work takes time and patience, but they did an incredible job and I’d like to commend them for their efforts. 

Finally, we saw neighbors on the ground helping their neighbors, high school students pitching in and even strangers showing up to lend a hand. Checking in to make sure everyone was okay after the storm and helping with clean up after the fact -- these actions are admirable and something that we should recognize. So I’d like to thank these folks for stepping up to the plate and for showing kindness and generosity during that challenging time.

On the county end of things, our Emergency Management team and Executive Office personnel moved quickly to declare a State of Emergency, which activated the response and recovery elements of Macomb County’s emergency operations plan. We also asked Governor Whitmer to make state funds available to offset local costs, and on August 5, she granted that request with her own State of Emergency declaration. In the days and weeks ahead, and as the recovery continues, the county will keep advocating for our residents and working with local municipalities to ensure northern Macomb fully recovers. As we all know, weather can be unpredictable. But a response like this offers some comfort and reassurance. So please know, if or when the next event occurs, the county is ready to do whatever it takes to help our communities. 

In closing, and as we approach the fall season, I’d like to remind you to visit makemacombyourhome.com to stay updated on all the great things happening in our communities. You can also visit macombgov.org for the latest news, information and programming from the county.

Thank you. And as always, please keep yourself and your family safe.

Mark A. Hackel

Macomb County Executive

 


Macomb County announces 9th annual Macomb Business Awards

 

Macomb County has announced the 9th annual Macomb Business Awards, an in-person event slated for September 16, 2021 at Jimmy John's Field in downtown Utica. 

“We’re happy to plan to bring the community back together, in-person, for the 2021 Macomb Business Awards,” said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED). “It is important that we show Macomb businesses how thankful we are for their hard work and dedication this last year and that we recognize those who are innovative, resilient and community minded.” 

This year’s nomination categories are as follows:

  1. Champion of Workplace Culture - Fosters a flexible and creative workplace that enables employees to balance work with their personal commitments.
  2. Hometown Hero - Supports/supported the community in an extraordinary way throughout the last year (i.e. pivoted to produce PPE or sanitation products; donated meals to first responders, etc.).
  3. Diversity and Inclusion Leader - Continuously cultivates a work environment where diversity is valued as evidenced by inclusive practices.
  4. Hidden Gem - A small business with 1-50 employees that offers a unique “made in Macomb” product or service that more people should know about.
  5. Manufacturer of the Year - a manufacturer or supplier of any size in any industry that is achieving success through its efforts to diversify its customer base, retain employees and/or implement new technologies or efficiencies.
  6. Trailblazer of Future Talent - Creates opportunities for the next generation of Macomb County’s workforce to explore career possibilities and experience work-based learning. 

The nomination period opened on July 12 and has since closed. Submissions are now being reviewed by a panel of judges, who will then select the winners. 

The Macomb Business Awards recognizes outstanding businesses that have made Macomb County their home. Last year, the event was held virtually due to COVID-19. However, this year nominees and attendees will be invited to an afternoon of fun at Jimmy John's Field in downtown Utica. The event will feature networking opportunities, as well as Josh Linkner as the keynote speaker, who will discuss relevant business topics.

MCPED is also seeking sponsors to help cover program expenses. For more information, please contact Maria Zardis at maria.zardis@macombgov.org or click here to learn more.

 


Sprint and Splash races return 

 

Ready to run, walk, kayak and/or SUP? Well here's some good news: You can take part in all of these activities at Sprint and Splash!

Organizers officially announced the return of the Festival of Races for Saturday, August 21, 2021 at Lake St. Clair Metropark. The event, which promotes and celebrates Lake St. Clair, will mark its 10th anniversary this year.

“Last year we canceled Sprint and Splash due to COVID-19, so we are thrilled to bring it back this year for its 10th anniversary,” said Amanda Minaudo, program director for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “We’ve heard from many of our past participants who are excited to run, walk, kayak and paddleboard. I think we’re all ready to return to the park and get back to the races.”

Individuals interested in participating in Sprint and Splash are encouraged to sign up online. All participants will receive a finisher medal, picnic blanket and swag bag. Current prices are:

  • 5K Run: $40
  • Duathlon Individual: $45
  • Duathlon Relay: $80
  • 2 Mile Paddle: $40

Organizers are planning to have music, food and craft beer at the event, however, those offerings are subject to current and/or future public health guidelines.

“We have plans in place to ensure the health and well being of every attendee,” said Minaudo. “Our goal, as always, is to have a safe event where people can have fun and enjoy the beautiful setting at Lake St. Clair Metropark.”

Sponsorship opportunities for Sprint and Splash are available. Funds raised will go towards the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, whose mission is to provide critical support to sustain all 13 metroparks and to enrich the lives of the citizens and environment of southeast Michigan. Sponsor details can be found here. For any questions, please contact Amanda Minaudo at Amanda.minaudo@macombgov.org.

 


Macomb County completes work on new dispatch training center

 

Macomb County recently announced the completion of work on a new dispatch training center at the Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications Technical Services Building in Mount Clemens. The center will provide innovative training programs to police, fire and EMS dispatch workers through live scenarios and state-of-the-art technology. In a partnership with the Public Service Institute at Macomb Community College, dispatchers enrolled in the college’s Basic Emergency Telecommunicator Course will also be able to utilize this center as part of their program.

“Dispatchers are oftentimes the unsung heroes of the public safety profession,” said County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “They perform an essential function in protecting our communities because they are the connection point for police and fire. But that service requires a lot of training, as dispatching has gotten more technical in the last few years with text to 911, CAD systems and other digital platforms. That’s why we worked to create a training center for new hires. We want to make sure these individuals receive the training they need so when they get to their jobs, they are ready to go.”

The training center will service all dispatch centers in Macomb County, including the Macomb County Sheriff’s Dispatch, the South East Regional Emergency Services Authority (SERESA) and dispatch centers in Warren, Shelby Township, Chesterfield Township, Richmond, Romeo, Center Line and Utica.

“Our dispatch center serves three police agencies, 13 fire departments and two emergency medical services,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “Dispatchers must be properly trained in each of these fields and ready to work at any one of these 12 consoles. On average, a dispatcher spends six months training to learn the various programs and geographical areas we serve. This is done within the dispatch center, a fast-paced environment with rapidly changing technology. This new training center will give staff an opportunity to train in a less active atmosphere where learning is the main focus. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center has a budgeted staff of 64 and is currently seeking applicants.” 

The project cost nearly $140,000, which was paid for with $70,000 from the Macomb County Sheriff’s 911 Dispatch Fund and $70,000 in grant funding received by Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications.

“We’ve been very creative in finding and receiving grant funds, which we used for a portion of this project,” said Vicki Wolber, deputy county executive. “We also worked closely with partners like SERESA, which have donated consoles and other products to support this work.”

Opportunities to work in the dispatching profession are currently available throughout Macomb County. Interested individuals can apply to work for the Macomb County Sheriff's Dispatch here. Additionally, SERESA has open positions listed here.

 


Volunteers needed for yard cleanup project aimed at helping homebound seniors

 

The Macomb County Office of Senior Services is in need of volunteers to assist with a yard cleanup initiative for local seniors. The service is offered through the Handy Helpers Program, which assists seniors with a variety of one-time, minor home maintenance services.

Volunteers will provide services such as leaf raking, tree branch trimming, outdoor window washing and flower bed cleanup. All necessary supplies are provided. Currently, there are 145 homebound seniors across Macomb County who have requested this assistance and who are waiting for help.

“This is a great opportunity for an organization or business to give back to our community after a year of COVID-19 limiting volunteering,” said Sheila Coté, director, Office of Senior Services. “We are looking for small groups of individuals to volunteer for a one day project assisting seniors with yard cleanup. Our goal is to support seniors’ ability to maintain their homes while aging in place.” 

Ideal volunteers would be groups from companies, civic organizations, churches or students in need of community service. This is also a great fit for families looking to give back together.  

The program will work with groups to identify a day that works well for everyone and will assign them seniors from their own community. Volunteers can schedule half day or full day volunteering opportunities. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact the Office of Senior Services at volunteer@macombgov.org or call 586-469-5228 to speak with our volunteer coordinator.

The Handy Helpers program is a new and unique program to help seniors safely maintain their home. The program launched last October and offers a variety of services including: pest control (by a licensed contractor), replacing light bulbs and faucets, washing walls and carpet cleaning, along with installing screens and storm windows. The service is open to Macomb County residents 60 years and older.  Call the Office of Senior Services at 586-469-5228 to request the service.

 


Macomb County road and bridge work underway, innovation on the horizon

 

The Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) annual construction and maintenance operations are underway, which includes more than $100 million in substantial road and bridge improvements that will strengthen and enhance Macomb County’s infrastructure and transportation network.

The Department of Roads work in 2021 includes 14 primary and local road projects, six bridges and large culverts, in addition to more than 25 hot mix asphalt (HMA) resurfacing and concrete pavement repair projects as part of MCDR’s county-wide pavement preservation program. Work planned also includes township residential streets as part of the Department of Roads subdivision reconstruction assistance program, various maintenance projects and traffic technology and communication network modernizations.

To help Macomb County motorists navigate local construction work, click here for a complete list of projects, interactive maps and additional information. Motorists can also sign up to receive email and text alerts for construction and traffic updates. Below are a few key primary and local road and bridge projects that are underway or planned in 2021.

 

Project: Mound Road

Location: M59 to 18 Mile Road (Anticipated)

Type of Work: Reconstruct and Widen Road

 

Project: 23 Mile Road

Location: Card Road to Heydenreich Road

Type of Work: Reconstruct and Widen Road

 

Project: 23 Mile Road

Location: North Avenue to Card Road

Type of Work: Reconstruct and Widen Road

 

Project: Schoenherr Road

Location: Plumbrook Drain to Clinton River Road

Type of Work: Mill, Base Repair, HMA Overlay with Bridge Work

 

Project: Garfield Road

Location: 17 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road

Type of Work: Mill, Base Repair, and HMA Overlay

 

Project: 10 Mile Road

Location: Dequindre Road to Ryan Road

Type of Work: Mill, Base Repair, and HMA Overlay

 

Project: Metropolitan Parkway Boulevard

Location: Andrew Street to Dodge Park

Type of Work: Mill, Base Repair, and HMA Overlay

 

Project: Hayes Road

Location: 10 Mile Road to 11 Mile Road Service Drive (I696)

Type of Work: Reconstruct Road with Mill, Base Repair, and HMA Overlay

 

Project: Harper Avenue Bridge

Location: Over Clinton River Spillway

Type of Work: Bridge Rehabilitation

 

Project: Cass Avenue Bridge

Location: Over the Clinton River

Type of Work: Bridge Rehabilitation with Pedestrian Walkway

 

Among the work scheduled to begin this year is Innovate Mound, a multi-year $217 million project that will reconstruct approximately nine miles of the Mound Road corridor. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of August with work phased over four construction seasons. In June, officials from Macomb County announced the selection of Dan’s Excavating Inc. as the bid award for the project.

Reconstruction of Mound Road, a partnership between MCDR and the cities of Warren and Sterling Heights, will include new pavement, drainage, curbs and driveways, traffic signal optimization, roadway widening, connected vehicle and fiber optic communications technology, enhanced non-motorized facilities, and energy-efficient lighting. Transportation innovations include enhanced connectivity, state-of-the-art design and smart technology to create a modern corridor that will continue to serve the community for decades to come.

For the latest news from the Department of Roads, visit roads.macombgov.org, follow MCDR on Facebook and sign up to receive email and text alerts for construction and traffic updates. More information about Innovate Mound can be found at innovatemound.org. Subscribe to the Innovate Mound newsletter, or follow the project on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the construction schedule and traffic updates.

 


Macomb County Anti-Trafficking Task Force launches website, seeks community partners

 

Macomb County has launched a new website to promote its MCAT anti-human trafficking task force, an initiative led by the Office of the County Executive and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. The task force, which is supported by more than 40 partner organizations, is working to eliminate human trafficking activities and advocate for survivors in Macomb County.

“Countless women, men and children are affected by human trafficking every day and our goal with MCAT is to do everything possible to prevent and prosecute these crimes, while supporting survivors,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Anyone could be the victim of human trafficking. So MCAT takes a comprehensive approach to its efforts by involving nonprofits, schools, faith-based organizations and law enforcement groups in its advocacy and activities. The only way we can stop these heinous crimes is by working together. That’s how we ensure no one is left behind.”

MCAT uses a three-branched focus to provide education, communication and direction to all possible responders in Macomb County and the community at large; to investigate and successfully prosecute cases of human trafficking to the fullest extent of the law; and to support survivors as they transition into restorative lifestyles.

“Human Trafficking is a growing problem throughout the U.S.,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “Victims of this crime are often hesitant to speak up as they do not always realize they are being victimized or do not know how to move forward. Our office is committed to investigating every report and/or tip that is presented to us and conducting special sting operations targeting human trafficking criminals. Working as a multiple agency task force will make our efforts stronger and more visible throughout our County. We look forward to partnering with other local agencies and organizations to provide resources to victims in an effort to end this monstrous crime.”  

In launching the new website, MCAT hopes to involve more partners and provide additional training and information for individuals on-the-ground in their communities.

“Both labor and sex trafficking are happening in Macomb County,” said Karen Hanks, trafficking victim assistance at Bethany Christian Services. “Survivors of trafficking come from all walks of life including different genders, ages, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds. The needs of each survivor are unique and complex – no single organization can meet all of them. That’s why it’s so important for faith-based organizations, community-based non-profits, law enforcement and government to work together to help survivors recover and thrive.”

Individuals and organizations looking to join MCAT can complete a survey created by the MCAT Services Provider Subcommittee, which is looking to develop a comprehensive Service Provider Network that will increase the availability of educated, trauma-informed, compassionate, capable and prepared anti-trafficking service providers in Macomb County. The survey can be found here.

“Ultimately, the county wants to get to a point where responders know all of the resources available to deal with the criminals involved in trafficking and the survivors affected by these activities,” said Deputy County Executive Vicki Wolber. “We want to ensure that the victims get the help that they need and that they are not unnecessarily punished and victimized again. We want to break the cycle.”

Individuals experiencing or witnessing human trafficking should report any and all activities to the 24/7 National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling (888) 373-7888 or texting 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO"). For additional information on human trafficking, including statistics and resources, visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

 


Business Calendar

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Point of Pride

Macomb County was able to award $10,000 in grants to 10 small businesses through its Shop Local Macomb Christmas in July campaign. The contest saw nearly 300 submissions! Thank you to the supporters who shopped and dined local for this initiative.

Still Available

 

COVID-19 resources for businesses are still available. Click here to learn more.