Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020
Data from this year's Census could make a huge impact in our community.

To help residents understand how Census data is used in Calhoun County, as well as motivate individuals to respond this year, Calhoun County's Census Committee created a story map . The map focuses in on seven ways census data impacts funding for the services that we provide countywide. Explore the map, share with your friends, and remember to respond to the postcard your household receives in mid-March.   
Here is what else is going on in Calhoun County:

On Monday, Jan. 27, the Board of Health met. Epidemiologist Lauren Smith gave an annual report on the School Wellness program, highlighting changes in the program’s delivery model that have increased success with goals around school attendance, management of chronic diseases, and connecting Battle Creek area students with a primary care physician. The Board also met the new Community Public Health Director Teatrice Williams, discussed vaccination waivers offered by the Public Health Department, and confirmed that its 3-year accreditation evaluation will take place in March.
The Calhoun County Planning Commission met Monday, Jan. 27 and elected its officers for 2020. Calhoun ISD Superintendent Terance Lunger will remain as the Commission’s president this year; John Sackrider of Sackrider Farms will serve as vice-chair; and Ben Lark as secretary. The Commission recommended for approval zoning amendments in Sheridan, Leroy, Bedford and Bedford Townships. Community Development Director Jen Bomba also noted in her department update that annual reports will be out soon, as well as final recommendations from the County’s consultants on a countywide public transportation model.  

At the Elected Officials and Department Heads Meeting the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 28, we heard updates from a number of County leaders. Highlights included:
  • David Makled, Calhoun County's Public Defender, reported that the number of misdemeanor cases with defense representation has increased three-fold in the Public Defender's first quarter of existence. The office has several new employees and construction for confidential interview rooms in the jail is nearly complete.
  • Land Bank Executive Director Krista Trout-Edwards reported that the Request for Qualifications for developers has been issued for the Marshall State Farm Property. The Land Bank is also hiring summer mow crews for maintaining properties countywide and working with several housing and economic development initiatives in Battle Creek.
  • Aaron Edlefson, Veteran Affairs Director, announced that it received over $108,000 in grants from the state this year and plans to use some of that money for assisting the Haven's homeless veteran population, as well as increased advertising.
  • The Road Department's Operations Director Kori Albrecht provided an update about winter maintenance, pothole patching, and tree trimming that is taking place countywide. The Department is preparing for the 2020 construction season, and planning is underway to finance the upcoming construction of Emmett Township's local roads, which will be done over three years, after residents passed the voted bond initiative last year.
  • Calhoun County's Court Administrators for Circuit and District Courts Kris Getting and Kate Ambrose discussed initiatives in 2020, such as amnesty days and juror appreciation. A docket change occurred recently in Circuit Court, and Circuit Court Judges will make a decision about the appointment of a County Clerk and Register of Deeds after candidate interviews take place Friday, Feb. 7.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Summit Pointe Board of Directors met and heard an update on employee retirement savings plans from Rose Street Advisors. County Commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette is the board chair and I’m the Treasurer. There were educational presentations on youth services and autism services, and communications strategies, which the board has identified as a goal for 2020. The board also approved a new contract with Rubix Technologies to provide information technology services, and an amendment to Physician Employment Agreements.
The FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board met Thursday, Feb. 6, which was the Board's organizational meeting. It elected officers for 2020: Jamie Stuck, NHBP representative, is chair; Joe Caron, Marshall City representative, is vice chair; Greg Moore, Athens Township representative, is Treasurer; and Derek King, County representative, is Secretary. The Board designated bank signatories and approved its meeting and funding distribution schedule for 2020. Plans are in the works to send a press release about the Upjohn Institute’s 2019 Economic and Social Impact Study, which was requested by the Revenue Sharing Board to fulfill a commitment made before the Casino opened to conduct such a study years down the road. This year’s “2% Net Win” payment will be received by the FLRSB by Friday, Feb. 14.
The Parks and Recreation Commission also met on Feb. 6. In that meeting, the Commission elected Steve Frisbie, county Board Chair, as its chair; Annette Chapman as vice chair, and Jesse Jacox as secretary. Presentations were given regarding the parks department 2019 financial performance and a turtle conservation project. In the department report, Program Manager Doug Ferrall provided updates about the millage effort, Kimball Pines DNR Application, the MParks Conference, and the Albion Trail Project
Please note: Most county offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 17 in observance of President's Day.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
Around the County
Update from the Road Department
Calhoun County's Road Department hosted the Southeastern County Road Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 3. In addition to bringing together regional road agencies to learn from one another, a highlight of the program was an overview of the Halbert Road Culvert Project, which recently won an award from the Michigan Concrete Association . Representatives from the County Road Association of Michigan and Road Agency insurance providers were also present to give legislative and best practice updates.

  • Boom mowing is complete in Burlington, Marengo, Eckford, and Leroy Townships
  • Culvert installations are taking place in Homer and Sheridan Townships
  • Installation of a new guardrail system is taking place on P Drive S in Homer Township
  • Tree work is taking place for an upcoming project in Burlington Township
  • Pothole patching is taking place countywide as the weather allows
  • Ongoing sign maintenance continues countywide
Update from the Juvenile Home
In January, seven kids at the Juvenile Home qualified for an unrestricted activity off-site due to good behavior. The activity? Sledding! Director Tori Benden said it was nice to see the kids having fun in the snow and she's proud that so many were able to attend.
Update from Veterans Affairs Office
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency awards crucial grant

After months of uncertainty at the state level, Calhoun County's Veterans Affairs was awarded $108,162 through the County Veteran Service Fund Grant. To meet the goal of increasing or enhancing veteran service provisions, monies from this grant will go toward programming to assist eligible veterans and dependents with home repairs and the building of ramps. Money will also go toward the cost of bathing while veterans are at the Marian E. Burch Adult Day Care, as well as to the VA Medical Center for its therapeutic recreation program. Another goal of the Veteran Service Fund Grant is to help veterans access benefits available to them. Some of this money will go toward advertising, such as printed media, radio spots, and partnerships, to increase awareness of the Calhoun County Veterans Affairs office and its services. 
Update from the Public Health Department
CCPHD Promotes Wear One Campaign

The Calhoun County Public Health Department joined 39 Michigan counties in the Wear One campaign, a condom distribution initiative for young and middle-aged adult men. The campaign offers residents of Calhoun County access to free condoms at various businesses and organizations countywide.
Due to increasing chlamydia and gonorrhea rates in Calhoun County, the campaign seeks to create consistent, positive sexual health message while decreasing the rates of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
CCPHD is looking for additional organizations and businesses that can join this public health initiative. To learn more, c ontact CCPHD at pubichealth@calhouncountymi.gov . Read the press release.
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