Update from Kelli Scott for Thursday, June 20
C orporation Counsel Jim Dyer was elected as president of the Marshall Rotary Club and will begin this new leadership role on July 1. Congrats, Jim, and thank you for your community involvement.

I played the small part of welcoming guests to Calhoun County's 13 th Annual Legislative Breakfast , which took place on Friday, June 7. This annual event provides an opportunity for elected officials and community leaders to come together around the issues that our County faces. This year’s focus was on recruiting and retaining talent, as well as spurring economic development and expanding educational opportunities. The panel during this event included Representative Jim Haadsma and our state senator, Dr. John Bizon, along with officials from Oaklawn Hospital and Kellogg Community College. Our community is fortunate to have organizations like the Battle Creek Community Foundation, who spearheads this event, along with other sponsors that come together to make it happen.
The Friday, June 7 meeting for the Native American Heritage Fund Board was the first opportunity for the board to review grant applications for 2019 funds. Applications were submitted by the following public entities in Michigan: Bay de Noc Community College, Godfrey-Lee Public, the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University's College of Law, Monroe County Community College, Northern Michigan University, and the Friendship Community Center. The Board is requesting additional information from some applicants and will wait until its next meeting on Monday, July 29 to finalize grant awards. The State provides $500,000 per year from the larger FireKeepers Casino Net Win payment to the NAHF, designed to promote understanding, history and good relationships with the State's Native Americans.
 
Monday, June 10, the Calhoun County Road Department hosted a Township Supervisors' Meeting . Department updates were shared about the newly proposed Local Road Infrastructure Failure Policy, existing Local Road Improvement Policy (Policy #509), and the 2019 road projects. Approximately 14 Township representatives attended, as well as Commissioners Tommy Miller and Gary Tompkins. The purpose was to provide as much information as possible to the townships and receive feedback about how the County and townships can best work together toward long-term road improvements and the safety of our motorists.
 
The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau Board met Tuesday, June 11. The Board , chaired by Commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette, approved funding for several 2019 Tourism Investment Projects.  We also discussed this year’s CVB strategic planning process, and heard an update from CEO Linda Freybler on a proposed new Battle Creek City Hotel Ordinance, being drafted with input from a committee that Linda is serving on.
 
On Monday, June 17, I attended the Marshall Community Credit Union Board meeting. It began with a Bank Secrecy Act training, which is required annually of all Board members. During the Board of Directors meeting, CEO Heather Luciani and her staff gave an update on the grand opening celebration on June 13 for the new Coldwater Branch, an example of the credit union’s continued success and growth. MCCU was also the recipient of the “Outstanding Credit Union of the Year” award, selected by peers and presented at the Michigan Credit Union League’s annual Awards Breakfast on June 8.
From the Board of Commissioners

The Battle Creek Barbershop Singers opened the June 20, 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting. They sang America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner. Also, as special orders of business, the Board heard the 2018 medical examiner annual report from Dr. Joyce DeJong, the County's contracted medical examiner from Western Michigan University. There were also proclamations for LGBTQ Pride Month and for the Homer High School Trojans Boys Baseball team.

In new business, the Board,
  • Approved the construction contractor chosen for the Road Department’s D Drive N Culvert Project in Emmett Township
  • Approved the selection of a website redesign contractor, which will begin the process of redesigning the County's website
  • Received the County's and the separate Road Department May 2019 financial statements, which were provided for informational purposes
  • Approved a local road improvement project agreement with Marshall Township for the resurfacing of Preston Dr.
Calhoun County's First PACE Project

The Battle Creek YMCA is the first organization to take advantage of Calhoun County's PACE Program. This opportunity was approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2015, and it allows property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with a property tax special assessment.

Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott said in a press release, "We are happy to partner with the Battle Creek YMCA in the C-PACE program, a unique economic development tool adopted by the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners. I’m especially excited that our first local project is one that will improve the experience of our residents working toward bettering their lives through fitness."

Road Department Update

On Thursday, June 13, a meeting was held with Emmett Township officials, as well as County administration, Road Department officials, and Commissioner Derek King, along with legal counsel and financial advisors. The purpose was to discuss timelines and agreements that will be necessary for the township and County to finance improvements for all of Emmett Township’s 75 miles of local roads, as approved by voters of the township in the last election. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020 on this $27 million project, and will be completed over the next three years.  


Engineering:
  • Due to numerous rainy days, progress on many road projects is delayed. The 2019 Road Projects list will be updated as information is available about when projects are completed.
  • 25 1/2 Mile Rd in Albion is under construction
  • Primary and local road paving is underway
  • Planning is ongoing for Emmett Township's Local Road Program

Operations by CCRD crews:
  • Berm removal is taking place on primary and local road projects throughout Calhoun County
  • Grading of gravel roads is taking place in Athens, Burlington, Newton, and Tekonsha Townships
  • Potholes are being patched countywide
  • Boom moving is taking place in Clarendon, Eckford, and Lee Townships

Operations by contract crews:
  • Mowing contractors are in Convis and Clarendon Townwships
  • Crack seal contractors are working in Bedford, Fredonia, Marengo, and Pennfield Townships
  • Brining will take place this week, weather dependent, in Athens Township
  • Contractors have finished patching potholes in Leroy Township and are currently in Emmett Township. See where patching contractors will be next
From the Public Health Department

In a press release sent to media on Friday, June 14, the Public Health Department announced new clinical services available for residents, called Choices . The new program assists men and women who wish to start a family or prevent a pregnancy, and avoid the spread of sexually transmitted infections. These services are offered at the Battle Creek and Albion clinics and include,
  • Information on birth control and sexual health
  • Counseling on healthy pregnancy
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Testing and treatment for STIs
  • Exams and screenings for cancer or other health issues


Also, the Calhoun County Board of Health met Monday, June 17. The Board heard a presentation from Michelle Datema, Maternal Child Health Manager, about the nurse-family partnership. It also approved the 2016-2017 Annual Report. In Eric Pessell's Health Officer Report, he discussed the work Environmental Health accomplishes in summer, such as inspecting campgrounds and opening seasonal pools.
From the Community Development Office

There are three upcoming events with the Solid Waste and Recycling Program.

Tekonsha Scrap Tire Collection
Noon - 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 25
Village Offices at 537 N. Church St.
Read the press release

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.
Veterans Affairs at the movies With grant dollars, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs produced a short commercial about its services, encouraging County veterans to stop by the office or seek help when needed. This video will play in movie theaters throughout Calhoun County.


Veterans Affairs is located on the third floor of the Toeller Building and assists veterans with navigating federal benefits and programs, finding emergency relief, and providing advocacy when veterans need it most. Visit the Veterans Affairs website

This 60-second video was produced by BluFish, a marketing agency based in Marshall, Michigan, and features volunteers, staff, and committee members who work with the Veterans Affairs office regularly.
Please note: Government offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, for Independence Day. Additional the Calhoun County Treasurer's Office will be closed Friday, July 5.
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