Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott Thursday, September 2, 2021

Update from Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott Thursday, September 2, 2021

Labor Day CelebrationNext Monday is our annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American Workers. In observance of Labor Day, Calhoun County offices will be closed for the day. Let’s remember to join the U.S. Department of Labor in recognizing the many contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and wellbeing of our county. I especially am thankful for our employees that will continue to support public health and safety within our 24/7 operations over the holiday.

Have You Taken The Broadband Survey? September is the last month for residents to fill out the County’s Merit Network Broadband survey, which is important to our Broadband Task Force’s work in bringing high-speed internet to all residents of Calhoun County. This data collection report will then be used to develop the required feasibility study to understand what build-out options are available and what it will cost.

Take the survey online at MichiganMoonshot.org/Calhoun or text @moon to 1-855-613-1746. If you’ve already taken the survey, encourage your family and friends in Calhoun to complete it as well. Share this graphic and message below on your social media pages to help county residents and businesses be included in getting sufficient internet access in the future.

Social media caption you can copy/paste: Help the Calhoun County Broadband Task Force increase broadband Internet access in our area! Take the survey and learn more at MichiganMoonshot.org/Calhoun, or if you would like to request a paper survey, please contact (269) 781-0926.Take the SurveyHighlights from a few boards and committees:On Aug. 24, County administration and Road Department management continued ongoing efforts to bargain a new employment contract with the Road Department Teamsters Union, representing our road workers and mechanics. The goal is to reach agreement on a new contract by Oct. 31, 2021, when the current one expires. We’ve also begun bargaining with the Sheriff’s Office COAM supervisory grouptoward an end-of-year agreement. On Aug. 27, I attended a Michigan Association of Counties American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Webinar, which provided additional information and discussion about how Michigan counties are planning to invest their allocated ARPA funds. With deputy controller Megan Banning, I will continue to participate in ARPA learning opportunities that take place from state and national organizations, as we await final rule issuance by the U.S. Department of Treasury within the next couple of months, and encourage the State to appropriate a significant portion of their $6.5 billion in ARPA funds to counties to leverage key initiatives. Calhoun County submitted its first financial report to Treasury this week, before the Aug. 31 deadline. Also on Aug. 27, I attended the Battle Creek Rotary Board meeting at the Kool Family Center. We heard updates from committee chairs including membership, grants and community volunteer opportunities. The club is striving to increase membership and attendance, now that we’re meeting in person again following COVID-19 meting restrictions. The Summit Pointe Audit/Finance Committeemet on Aug. 30. We reviewed financial statements from June, heard a presentation about the FY22 budget, and discussed Phase II of the College Street Building construction. From Sept. 1-3, I also attended the Michigan Association of County Administrative Officers Annual Conference at Crystal Mountain in the upper lower peninsula. This is the first in-person conference that I’ve attended since the pandemic began. At this conference,we learned about new governmental accounting standards coming for next year, ways to reduce employee prescription costs, and what to watch for in the state legislature between now and the start of their fiscal year on Oct.1.

We also heard a presentation on health and wellbeing and held open discussions on the use of ARPA funds and other shared items of interest. On Sept. 1, the Calhoun County Broadband Task Force met to hear a presentation from Mike Reen, our representative from Aspen Wireless. He shared the work Aspen Wireless plans to do as soon as the data collection from the Merit Network is complete, which will included developing a feasibility study so that we can understand what it would take to bring high-speed internet to every household and business in the county.

Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
At the Sept. 1 Board of Commissioners meeting, a proclamation was presented for National Rail Safety Week. On the consent agenda, the Board approved a new five-year Road Department state trunkline maintenance contract, settlement of litigation at the recommendation of legal counsel, and the ratification of the River Forks Solar Project Road Agreement. In new business, the Board approved,

  • the Public Health Department FY22 budget, for their fiscal year starting October 1
  • Calhoun County Road Department contract award for bid #118-21, for the purchase of road signs and posts

Around the CountyUpdate from the Road DepartmentEngineering update:

  • Federal aid projects are nearly complete for the season
  • The last few roads of this year’s phase of the Emmett Township Local Road Project are nearly complete; find weekly updates on the CCRD website
  • Local road projects are ongoing