One Year of Countywide COVID-19 ResponseOn March 21, 2020 the Public Health Department held a press conference with county leaders announcing the first COVID-19 case in Calhoun County. The following week, with the City of Battle Creek and community partners/municipalities, we activated a Joint Operations Center, which continues today. Learn more about the Calhoun County JOC at calhouncountymi.gov/joc.
From a public health standpoint, vaccines are the best way out of the pandemic, and it’s remarkable that almost a year to the date of the first COVID-19 case in Calhoun County, we are wrapping up first dose vaccination for county government employees who hadn’t had a chance earlier in this process.
What stands out to me as the highlight of our countywide COVID-19 response is how the county came together—from non-profits to business sector leadership—to work together through this global crisis, here at home. Calhoun as a whole was efficient, productive, and collaborative in its response, which is something I’m proud of. I’m confident this leadership and partnership will continue beyond the pandemic.Highlights from a few boards and committees:On March 5, the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board met virtually and elected officers to the Board. Marshall City Mayor Joe Caron was elected as the new FLRSB Chairperson. County Commissioner Derek King continues as the County’s representative on the Board, with County Board Chair Steve Frisbie as his alternate. The meeting schedule and timeline for distribution were approved at this meeting, and the Board approved the publication of a public notice regarding the 2021 application for Tier 2 reimbursement of actual cost increases incurred for local municipalities near the casino in Emmett Township or the Tribal reservation in Athens Township. The application is on the County’s website at calhouncountymi.gov/flrsb, and completed requests are due back to County Administration by April 16. The FLRSB meets next on April 30, and the meeting will be held virtually by Zoom and is open to the public.
The City/County Meeting took place on March 5 virtually, providing city managers and mayors of the cities in Calhoun County along with the County Board Chair and County Administrator/Controller the opportunity to share updates. At this particular meeting, the group also discussed countywide transit plan development updates with transit and community development staff from Battle Creek and the County.
Led by HR/Labor Relations Director Kim Archambault and I, a Union Leadership Roundtable Meeting was held virtually on March 8. We provided updates to our countywide union leadership representatives on consolidation of the county’s 457 Retirement Savings Plans and recent COVID-19 response plan and policy changes.
The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau (CVB) Board met on March 9, via Zoom. At this meeting, convened by Commissioner Kathy-Sue Vette as the CVB Board Chair, we approved preliminary financial statements for the 2020 year end, discussed the 2021 budget outlook, which has improved, and approved a 3-year lease extension.
On March 10, the Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Committee met virtually. Director Aaron Edlefson provided an update on the department budget and record digitization effort. The Committee approved four veterans relief applications, denied two, and tabled two. There was also discussion on the need to educate our residents about the upcoming need to ask votes to renew the countywide 0.1 mill veterans services millage.
The Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) Board met virtually on March 12. At this meeting the board reviewed and finalized the 2021 grant application, and approved the release of that application for eligible local units of government, schools and colleges throughout Michigan, in April. Find information about the NAHF at nahfund.com.
The Calhoun County Board of Public Health met on March 15, via Zoom, and Health Officer Eric Pessell gave an update on COVID-19 response efforts, mass vaccination clinics and the recent increase in the spread of the virus in our community.
The Marshall Community Credit Union met virtually on March 15. The Board heard a quarterly update from management on internal cybersecurity assessment efforts, and discussed plans for this year’s strategic planning sessions, in addition to normal monthly business.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
As a special order of business, the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the first official actions related to improving access to and affordability of broadband internet countywide. In addition to a support resolution for the overall Broadband Initiative, the Board authorized County Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott to execute contracts with Merit Network, Inc., which will provide data collection services to measure gaps in the current broadband environment in Calhoun County. On the Consent Agenda, the Board approved reappointments to the Senior Millage Allocation Committee and Calhoun County Economic Development Corporation, a financing resolution for a gravel road grader for the Road Department, an employee’s purchase of defined benefit plan service credit, and the county’s new COVID-19 vaccine scheduling software. Find all of these items on the meeting agenda. In new business, the Board,
- Approved the 2021 FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board Administrative Services Agreement for an annual amount of $30,000
- Approved a Calhoun County Road Department (CCRD) design contract award for signal modernization at 6 1/2 Mile Road and Harper Village Drive
- Approved support resolutions for the CCRD bridge program, which identifies 12 structures for 2024 funding
- Approved a biennial CCRD Bridge Inspection Program award to Great Lakes Engineering Group
- Approved CCRD bid awards for culverts, plant pick up of hot mix asphalt for patching, sodium chloride for ice melting, materials testing services and asphalt emulsion materials
- Approved a resolution to certify and decertify specific road segments under Act 51
- Approved the annual Act 51 Road Mileage Certification
- Approved a county parks landscape architect bid award
- Approved the purchase of a mobile medical unit for the County’s Health Department
- Approved a contract amendment for the Senior Millage-funded Senior Transportation program managed by Community Action
Around the CountyUpdate from the Road DepartmentPlease note that seasonal weight restrictions that were put in place earlier this month will be lifted from Calhoun County primary and local roads on Monday, March 22.
- Tree work is wrapping up this week in Marshall Township
- J Drive S tree work is ongoing
- Pothole patching continues countywide
- Durapatchers are patching potholes in Lee and Leroy Townships
- Boom mowers are working in Albion and Clarendon Townships
Update from the Calhoun County CourtsCalhoun County Courts are prepared to hold jury trials. Jurors have been summoned and cases are now being scheduled for trial. The first confirmed case for jury trial will be April 14. Jury service terms that were previously cancelled have been notified via the Juror Management System and additional information is available on our Jury Service web page at calhouncountymi.gov/departments/courts/jury_services/index.php.
To provide safety to our jurors, the courts have established a COVID-19 protocol that includes, staggered report times, reduced trial dates, required face coverings, cleaning of juror spaces, social distancing, health screening and larger deliberation rooms. Jurors who are unable to serve due to COVID-19 or increased risk of the illness will be deferred to a later term of service. For any questions, please contact the Jury Coordinator at 269-969-6533.News from the Calhoun County Juvenile HomeThe 22nd Annual Jayhawk Open, which benefits the Calhoun County Juvenile Home, will take place Friday, June 11, 2021 at Binder Park Golf Course. This event raises money for youth programming at CCJH. The golf scramble will start at 9 a.m. with 3- or 4-person teams, and the cost is $75 per player, which includes lunch and a gift bag. Hole and Corporate Sponsorships are also available ranging from $50-$350. To sign up to play or sponsor, find more information at calhouncountymi.gov/ccjh and click on Special Activities. With questions or to submit a completed entry form, contact Project Leader Mic Grigg at firstname.lastname@example.org.Questions or comments? Please contact our Communications Manager. If you were forwarded this email, sign up to receive future emails.