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Circuit Court
40 N Main, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5208

In This Issue....

2013 State of the County Recap
Downtown Government Campus Undergoes Space Utilization Study
Macomb County contributes to a great 2013
Nominations for Macomb County Business Awards close on December 9
The Year in Information Technology
Macomb County Communications & Technology Center  (COMTEC) December 2013 Update
2013 a big year for road improvements in Macomb County

2013 State of the County Recap

By: Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive

Mark Blue Tie Standing 144x180.jpg

Last night marked the third time that we came together under the County Executive form of government to talk about, and celebrate, what is happening in Macomb County.

In just three years, we have transformed from a county that was habitually running a deficit and in danger of depleting its general fund balance to a county that has had 3 years of balanced budgets.

In our county nearly 18,000 businesses employ more than 296,000 individuals. From multi-national corporations headquartered right in our backyard, to unique boutiques dotting our historic main streets, Macomb County’s economy is not only more vibrant, but it is becoming more diverse.

Mount Clemens is becoming a hotbed for creativity, attracting numerous technology and web based companies. The County is also playing an active role as well; our new facilities master plan will bring more activity to downtown Mount Clemens.

Higher education is also expanding in Macomb County. This year nearly 65,000 students completed college coursework in Macomb.  As the cost of higher education continues to rise, Macomb is home to excellent institutions that are offering quality higher education at very affordable rates.

When talking about the economy, one of my favorite topics is our Blue Economy. This year, we hosted the Superbowl of bass fishing on Lake St Clair, created the Huron to Erie Freshwater Research Center, enhanced the Nicholson Nature Center which includes a riverfront classroom and amphitheater, created a $1.5 million boardwalk and coastal preservation area at Lake St. Clair Metropark, and hosted the largest aquatic concert in the region Aquapalooza.

Our local communities are benefitting from the Blue Economy. Utica opened up Memorial Park on the banks of the Clinton River providing public access in the middle of their downtown. Mount Clemens continues its efforts in creating more activity on the riverfront with the Water Towns initiative. New Baltimore opened its transient marina with access to its central business district. St. Clair Shores is planning for an Aqua Freeze Festival this winter.  The impact to our local communities has been meaningful.

Macomb County government is on solid fiscal ground.  We eliminated $60 million in deficit spending, and our fund balance reserves are now back to 2003 levels. Restructuring our county government operations has saved money and allowed us to dedicate more staff and resources directly in our communities into programs servicing seniors and low income families within Macomb County.

Because the county has lived within its means, there is a sound plan for the future. The vision for our integrated county wide communications and operations center has become a reality. This new state-of-the-art facility will improve public safety and highlight the dedication we have to providing our residents with top quality service.

Since day one I have been driven by a vision for a better Macomb County. It is this vision and desire that is leading us to new realities in Macomb County. We have created an environment where government is focused on productive and purposeful outcomes. We have streamlined the roles and functions of county government. There is a growing sense of pride in Macomb. Together we can build on our strong sense of community and support this place we call home.

Downtown Government Campus Undergoes Space Utilization Study

By: Mark Deldin, Deputy County Executive

In June of 2013, the Office of the County Executive engaged the services of facility consultants Plante Moran CRESA to develop a long-term space utilization plan and facility assessment of the county owned properties located in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens – the County Administration Building, Old County Building, Macomb Circuit Court and Clemens Center.

The study was initiated immediately after an electrical fire caused damage to the Old County Building in April that forced the immediate relocation of 150 county employees to temporary quarters pending completion of this study.

Thankfully, every employee and citizen was able to exit the building safely on that day in April. Many thanks go out to our dedicated department leaders and elected officials, who cooperated in the need to relocate services for the public. Within days of the incident, most services were fully restored. I have always maintained that the true test of leadership is often displayed during times of crisis. Without question, quality leadership was displayed by so many dedicated employees including but not limited to our IT department, Emergency Management, Facilities & Operations, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department and the Mount Clemens Fire Department.

Now that the dust has settled and the building has been literally emptied of its contents, some of which had been stored there for over 80 years, consultants and architects recently concluded their work.

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners was given an executive summary of the assessment plan and since that time our finance department has been working to develop financing options for the board to consider during a presentation in December.

We remain optimistic that once the board has thoroughly reviewed the plan and are comfortable with how to pay for the upgrades to the buildings, work will begin to modernize some of our oldest facilities to make them accessible, safe and efficient for the public we serve and the dedicated staff that work inside of them.

Stay tuned for future updates on our progress.

Macomb County contributes to a great 2013

By: Pamela Lavers, Assistant County Executive

With the holiday approaching, we like to reflect upon the past year.  Defining 2013 as a “great” year means so many different things to each of us.  When reflecting upon 2013, some might think about basic needs like food, shelter and work.  Others might reflect on family, health and wellbeing.  However you personally answer, we believe living or working in Macomb County has had a positive impact.  I would like to share some things that may have positively touched you, your friends, family or loved ones this year by living or working in Macomb County.

This year we offered hearing and vision screenings for school age children, provided over 100,000 immunization shots, collected over 2,000,000 pounds of food for our food pantry network and increased pediatric primary care in low income areas through Macomb Children’s Healthcare Access Project.  We also increased care for our elderly residents and hosted our annual senior festival.  Most importantly, we initiated a continuum of care for our aging residents.

With our diverse communities and over 100 languages spoken in Macomb schools we created OneMacomb, a committee to focus on the County’s diversity efforts where everyone's quality of life is enhanced by the diversity of their neighbors, and where all lives are enriched by multiculturalism.

The reopening of Freedom Hill, the use of Macomb’s non-motorized 70-mile trail system, Macomb's Blue Economy Initiative events such as Sprint & Splash, Aquapalooza (the largest water concert in the state) and the Bassmasters Elite Tournament, may have brought you happiness throughout the warmer months.  Macomb County is also home to two farmers markets and hundreds of farms and orchards for healthy and fresh foods and fun outdoor activities.

Whether you work in Macomb County for one of our largest employers like GM, Chrysler, Ford, St. Johns, McLaren or Henry Ford or one of our small local businesses, all are important to our community and impacts your life by providing exceptional products and services.

Whether it’s helping out the needy, another family member or friend, or providing care and comfort to our ill or underserved populations, it is through volunteerism and care that we can do astonishing things. The thousands of Macomb County volunteers that provide support for our less fortunate, in some form or another, touch many, many lives.  Thank you to our volunteers for making a positive impact.

Macomb County is a great place to live, work and play and together we will continue to positively impact our community!  On behalf of the Office of County Executive Mark A. Hackel, during the holiday season more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made progress possible. It is in this spirit we say “thank you” and best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Nominations for Macomb County Business Awards close on December 9

By: Stephen Cassin, Director Planning & Economic Development

Macomb County offers businesses a great opportunity to be recognized for their efforts to be successful.  Companies (or organizations) are encouraged to self-nominate for a Home in Macomb County Business Award:

  • Champion of Workforce Development – achievement of continuous improvement through innovative ways to hire, train and retain employees.
  • Diversification Leader – ability to tap new revenues by serving new industries or customers
  • Energy Efficiency Expert – best use of technology to reduce energy consumption and operating expenses.
  • Corporate Citizen – meaningful community involvement through service and support.
  • Startup Business of the Year - in operation for four years or less with more than one employee.

For more information and the online nomination form, visit:  http://www.macombbusiness.com/nominate

The awards breakfast will be on Tuesday February 11 and feature Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler CEO and founder of venture capital firm incWell, as keynote speaker.  WJBK-Fox 2 Anchor Huel Perkins will once again serve as our emcee.  County Executive Mark A. Hackel will present an impressive crystal award to a single recipient in each category.  Productive networking is sure to occur both before and after the formal program!

Every nominated company will receive two free tickets to the breakfast, be recognized in the program book and on the county website.  Jennifer Mefford, Director of Business Development for IBEW-NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, blogs about her organization’s experience last year:   http://makemacombyourhome.com/blog.html

More than 300 are expected to attend this year's breakfast." Learn more about last year's finalists:  http://www.macombbusiness.com/recipients

The county is also seeking sponsors to help cover event costs.  For more information, contact Maria Zardis at 586-469-5285 or maria.zardis@macombgov.org

The Year in Information Technology

By: Sandy Jurek, Macomb County CIO

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” or so one very famous novel begins; and thus was 2013 for the Information Technology (IT) Department.  My first full year at the helm started off as just another year of upgrading applications, replacing PCs, resolving problems for computer users, and planning out the many big projects we had ahead of us.

In late March, I executed a complete re-organization that changed the entire structure of the department and provided new management leadership.  Then the April fire occurred in the County Building that uprooted the department, forcing a relocation of both staff and the County data center.  But, as it is always darkest just before the dawn, so did IT turn 2013 around into a great year.

The recovery from the fire led to improved service from IT for County departments, including greater reliability of services due to the establishment of a redundant data center and extended fiber network. New partnerships were forged with Macomb Community College and Oakland County to share key infrastructure services.  This situation also played a key role in my earning the distinguished “CIO of the Year Award” from Crain’s Detroit Business in September.

We also saw major strides in the PC replacement initiative, which will continue into early 2014.  The County’s website also has begun a complete makeover, and IT continues to work with departments to roll out the new web content management system and to convert web pages to the new look and feel.  Many applications have been upgraded, including the Court e-Filing system, for which a move was made to a new solution that will better serve the filing community by providing enhanced functionality that was not previously available.

IT also facilitated an Interlocal Agreement between Macomb County and Oakland County to allow for accepting of electronic payments for county services both online and over the counter that will ultimately yield additional revenue to cover credit card fees and service enhancements for both counties.  This agreement will make for a standardized, streamlined process when any department needs to begin accepting credit cards.

The IT department has also advanced in 2013 by filling staff openings and positioning itself to begin the County-wide migration to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013, both of which will result in greater efficiency for all of our computer users.  The year will end with a move into the new state-of-the-art COMTEC facility, giving IT an anxiously-awaited permanent home.  The new building will bring all the IT staff back together in one location and house the County’s new high-tech data center.  This serves to combine technical operations under one roof to further streamline operations, save costs, and provide more reliable service.

With all of this, IT is looking forward to an even better year for 2014 in our new home with even more improvements planned for infrastructure, systems and service delivery.

Macomb County Communications & Technology Center  (COMTEC) December 2013 Update

By: Vicki Wolber

It is hard to believe that a mere 7 ½ months ago the ground breaking on the County’s new operations center took place at 117 S. Groesbeck Hwy.  Today, the renovation and construction work on the project is complete.  Equipment and technology installations are continuing and we are making plans to relocate the four departments that will occupy the new center:  Emergency Management & Communications, IT Department, Department of Roads Traffic Operations and the Sheriff’s Central Dispatch.  Personnel from the Emergency Management Office, IT and Traffic Operations have plans to move into the center the week of December 8th.  Due to the scope and complexity of the Sheriff’s dispatch operations, a move for them is planned in January 2014.

A new name and logo has been chosen for the center which is the “Macomb County Communications & Technology Center” or COMTEC.  This name represents the vast array of physical equipment and technology that is located in the center but also encompasses the personal communication capabilities that take place between the public, emergency first responders and other support agencies that are co-located in this center to serve the public during what are usually the worst of times.

The state of the art center is amazing to look at and may leave many observers awestruck by the 20’ x 50’ video wall, modern dispatch, traffic and emergency operations workstations, and the ability to receive and disseminate real-time data and information from a variety of sources including CNN, the weather, and local traffic cameras.  However, what has been and will always be at the core of this center is the ability of the people that work in this facility to provide the best service possible to the residents, businesses and visitors to our county.  This center is about people, relationships, and capabilities that will allow us, not only in disaster situations (or the one big event), but in every day real life situations to provide a government organization that is resilient and responsive to serving, protecting, responding and keeping safe our community.

2013 a big year for road improvements in Macomb County

By: Bob Hoepfner, Director Macomb County Roads Department

Macomb County drivers can see and feel the improvements made by the department of roads in 2013.

This year we tackled ten large road projects and numerous smaller projects to make the ride in Macomb county smoother and less congested. Our project completions included widening roads, rehabilitating deteriorated roads and installing new bridges.

Each project undertaken by the department is aimed to maximize benefit to local motorists. Our biggest project this year was the 23 Mile Road Bridge replacement project over the north branch of the Clinton River. We accomplished many smaller projects throughout that county that  such as the rehabilitation of 10 & 12 Mile in Warren,  southbound Mound concrete repairs between 11 and 14 Mile, Auburn reconstruction from Dequindre to Ryan, Dequindre concrete repairs  from 12 to 13 Mile, VanDyke widening from 26 Mile to West Road, and the paving of three gravel road areas in Macomb Township, and many concrete and asphalt road repairs throughout the county in our Pavement Preservation Program.

Michigan is known for having two seasons: winter and construction. With winter approaching, the Macomb county Department of Roads is ready. With over 1,800 miles of state and county roads to maintain, we have 42,000 tons of salt on hand and a fleet of 80 salt trucks equipped with underbody plows, 16 wing plows and 13 salt spreader combination units ready to help keep you safe on the road this another winter season.

You can help keep yourself safe on the road as well! Check out these great resources to help you drive safely this season!

Winter Safety Tips (http://www.micountyroads.org/pdf/Winter_Safety_tips.pdf)

Defensive Driving in Winter (http://www.micountyroads.org/pdf/DEFENSIVE_DRIVING.pdf)

Winter Driving Tips for Teens (http://www.micountyroads.org/pdf/teen_tips_CRAM.pdf)

What to Know Before You're Stuck in the Snow (http://www.micountyroads.org/pdf/Before_Youre_Stuck.pdf)

Season’s greetings from all of us here at the Macomb County Department of Roads!