Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020
Happy Holidays!
Tonight was the final Board of Commissioners meeting of 2020, held virtually as all meetings have been since mid-March. We wished one another a safe and peaceful holiday season and would like to share that sentiment with the community as we look forward to a new year of hope in 2021: Happy Holidays!

This year, in lieu of gathering for holiday cheer with my staff, we're donating instead to a Battle Creek initiative called "Stuff the Front," coordinated by EatsBC, which will provide food from local restaurants for our community frontline workers. It feels good to remember that even though we can't do the things that bring us the most joy during the holiday season, like gathering with friends, family, and coworkers, we can find other ways to spread joy.

It's my holiday wish that all of our Calhoun County and Court employees and the residents we serve, have a happy holiday season. Please keep safety protocols in mind to avoid spreading the virus, but I hope that doing so doesn't diminish your holiday cheer. Thank you for your dedication to the community this year. I am proud to be part of this resilient community.
Highlights from a few boards and committees:
On Dec. 14, the Calhoun County Planning Commission met virtually. The Board voted on five township planning and zoning items—three PA116 applications and two zoning ordinance amendments.

The Michigan Municipal Services Authority (MMSA) Executive Committee, for which I'm chairperson, met via Zoom today at 3 p.m., and we received updates about our Financial Management System project and the upcoming payments on behalf of the Local Community Stabilization Authority, LCSA, to reimburse local governments in February for personal property tax losses. We also approved an extension of the MMSA's grant agreement with the State Department of Treasury to engage Mark Wollenweber to provide financial consulting services to the City of Flint. The MMSA's interim CEO Shea Charles will be leaving in February for a permanent municipal job and so we are working on plans for this upcoming CEO transition.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
Around the County
Update from the Road Department
Engineering
  • Countywide culvert inventory is ongoing
  • We are currently meeting with townships to discuss 2021 local roadwork

Operations
  • Pothole patching is ongoing countywide
  • Boom mowing is ongoing in Pennfield and Clarendon Townships
  • Grading of gravel roads is complete in Homer, Clarendon, Tekonsha, Burlington, and Athens Townships
  • Tree trimming is ongoing in Pennfield and Marshall Townships
  • Shoulder maintenance has taken place countywide
Update from Community Development
Calhoun County's Community Development Office has been busy in 2020, finding new and innovative ways to engage with the community.

Last week, Calhoun County Parks and Recreation received notification that it received a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which will fund the reconstruction of the entrance to Kimball Pines and its bathrooms, as well as development of an accessible trail, formal parking, and more in 2021-2022. This award totals $193,400. Please click the image to see the preliminary site plan.

From its 2019 Annual Report, Senior Services identified townships in Calhoun with less than 10% of seniors participating in senior millage programming. Those townships included Convis, Fredonia, Lee, Leroy, and Pennfield Townships. This fall, Senior Services staff brainstormed with township leadership how it can better engage with seniors from those communities, and from those meetings townships and community service vendors have stronger relationships. When it's safe to gather again, Senior Health Partners anticipates piloting exercise and meal sites using Leroy's Community Hall.

This isn't the only way Community Development is working closer with townships in 2020. This year, Calhoun County signed an interlocal agreement with Pennfield Township to assist in its planning and zoning operations. This arrangement allows local townships to benefit from the skillset and foresight of planning staff at the county level. With partnership from additional townships in the future, this cooperation has the potential to improve planning and zoning countywide.

This year, Veterans Affairs has begun digitizing its files, which will provide quicker access and service for veterans who come in. This effort began in September, and in that time the staff has digitized records for 5,819 veterans who live in Calhoun County, with over 11,076 individual documents. Director Aaron Edlefson says that while they're happy with the progress, "We've only made a small dent in the number of documents that we have."

Calhoun GIS staff continues to maintain the Calhoun snowplow tracker, which documents where plows have been in the county, removing snow from the roadway. Make sure to bookmark Calhoun County's snowplow tracker so that you can check to see whether your commute has been plowed during and after a snow event.
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