Update from Kelli Scott for Thursday, July 18
It has been nearly a month since the last Board of Commissioners meeting, so there is a lot to update about.

First, congratulations to Judge Samuel I. Durham who retires Monday, Aug. 5. We wish Judge Durham the best in his retirement.

Don't forget! An election will take place Tuesday, August 6 in Clarence, Marengo, and Sheridan Townships, as well as those in the Marshall District Library district. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. For a description of the voting proposals, information about voter registration, or a list of polling locations, please see the press release prepared by Teri Loew, Calhoun County's Election Specialist . The press release also provides information about which communities are included in the Marshall District Library district. 

In community involvement,

Near the end of June, the BC CAL KAL Board of Directors met. This board's goal is to support economic development related to international trade. Two reports were given related to zone outreach progress and New FTZ 43 Applications.

The internal budget committee met Wednesday, July 10 to discuss the schedule for 2020 budget planning and review a proposal for a fee study that would ensure the County is appropriately charging for services. This committee will meet again in August when budget requests are submitted by County departments.

The same day, there was a Veterans Affairs Committee Meeting . At this meeting, staff from the GIS department reviewed maps pertaining to the County's veteran population. The committee reviewed nine Veterans Relief Fund applications, approving or partially approving two.

On Thursday, July 11, there was a meeting to discuss the local jail population , as it is higher than normal right now. This committee, which includes commissioners, judges, court administration, the prosecutor and others, meets very rarely, to discuss what might be causing higher jail populations.

Also on Thursday, July 11, the Michigan Municipal Services Authority (MMSA) board meeting took place. At this meeting, the board discussed the importance and longevity of the MMSA and how it can be most valuable to the State. Next steps for this board include discussing its intentions with policy makers, consider possible revenue sources, and determine leadership options.

At a July 11 Parks and Recreation Commission special meeting , discussion began about a possible parks millage. This is the very first meeting on this topic and there are a number of steps before a millage question can be added to a ballot in 2020. Program Manager Doug Ferrall prepared a preliminary worksheet about millage options . Stay tuned for information about this and the Parks Department's 5-year master plan, which is being updated this year with public input. 

Tuesday, July 16, the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) met and discussed a funding request from the Historic Home Tour. Updates were also given by various subcommittees, such as the finance and audit committee, housing committee, and the ambassadors group.
Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed. Due to extreme temperatures this week, the Calhoun County Public Health Department and Emergency Management released information about heat-related illnesses and how to avoid them. Read the CCPHD's press release about heat-related illness prevention.

If you're on Facebook, follow the Public Health Department and Sheriff's Office's pages, which are posting information about cooling centers and tips to stay cool.
From the Board of Commissioners

CareWell Services presented its multi-year plan to commissioners at the July 18 Board of Commissioners meeting. Presented by CEO Karla Fales, this is a report that is given annually. Commissioners asked Fales questions about how the County can continue to support the organization.

In new business, the Board,
  • Approved lease agreements with the Public Defender's Office, Substance Abuse Council, and Health Department
  • Approved the 2019 mid-year budget amendments
  • Approved June financials for both the Road Department and County Administration
Road Department Update

Last Tuesday, July 9, State Representatives Matt Hall and Jack O'Malley met with residents at Victory Life Church in Emmett Township to discuss Michigan roads. At the town hall, Rep O'Malley, who chairs the House's Transportation Committee, discussed the challenges our state faces in particular. For example, he said, Michigan experiences some of the most extreme freeze-thaw cycles than any other state, which damages asphalt.

Much of what the representatives said at the town hall echoes the problems that the Calhoun County Road Department is addressing.

A bridge on P Drive S in Homer Township is closed to one lane after a critical issue was identified during an inspection. The bridge remains passable. The Road Department’s 2019 schedule already included this bridge and the department is working to expedite the process.

In operations,
  • The County's chip-seal program has begun and Sheridan and Albion Townships are completed. Crews are currently working in Homer Township, then moving to Clarendon and Eckford Townships respectively.
  • Joint repair continues on I-69. Crews are currently working on the southbound lane just south of the county line.

Contract crews,
  • The first round of roadside mowing is complete.
  • Brining is complete in Athens, Leroy, Newton, Burlington, Fredonia, and Tekonsha Townships. Contractors are working in Clarendon Township now.
  • Contractors are patching in Fredonia and Newton Townships. Athens and Burlington Townships are next, respectively.

In federal aid projects,
  • Milling and paving will be complete this week on Michigan Ave from 22 1/2 Mile Rd to 25 1/2 Mile Rd.
  • Deberming and trenching is taking place on North Ave. from Halbert Rd to Baseline Rd.
  • Paving is the next step in the Union City Rd project.
  • In the next two weeks, pulverization and paving will start on 25 1/2 Mile Rd from F Drive S to Finley Street.
  • Paving is complete on the F Drive N/West Drive project, and the next steps are shouldering, pavement markings, and signs.

In primary and local road work,
  • Paving is about 60% complete on primary and local road projects.
  • Chip-sealing began last week and is ongoing throughout the County.
From the Calhoun County Land Bank

As we often do, we're hearing positive news about the impact the Land Bank has in our community. A recent article in the Battle Creek Enquirer interviews the couple that purchased the Land Bank property at 375 Riverside Dr. in Battle Creek. The house, believed to be the oldest residence in Battle Creek, was built in 1852 by William B. Shepard, the city’s first schoolteacher. The article includes details about the couple's restoration plans.

Also, the Land Bank partners with the Color the Creek Festival to activate vacant spaces and support community art. The two organizations have worked together on mural projects over the last few years. Most recently, pop-up art was installed at 11 Cliff St. in Battle Creek, and there is an interactive chalk wall. The installation has been positively received by neighbors and customers of the Dairy Queen across the street. 
From the Community Development Office

Upcoming Recycling Events

Albion Area Recycling Event, includes the Albion scrap tire collection
9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, July 27
Ketchum Field, at the intersection of N Clark St. and E North St.
Electronics, scrap metal (no Freon), and scrap tires will be accepted

Battle Creek Electronics and Polystyrene Collection
9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24
City of Battle Creek Department of Public Works Building, 150 S. Kendall St.
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