National County Government Month The National Association of Counties (NACo) designates April as National County Government Month to raise awareness of our importance to the safety, health and wellbeing of residents and businesses. This year’s theme is “Counties Matter”—which seems obvious given our roles in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time expanding efforts to help in the recovery of our communities The County is inviting the public to check out newly published 2020 annual reports highlighting departmental statistics and accomplishments. These reports can be found on our website at calhouncountymi.gov/annualreports.
April’s Scene Magazine edition features a few tidbits from our annual reports, along with a recent Be Scene On Air show on Battle Creek’s Access Vision. Click here for the episode link, and my conversation with Scene Publications Executive Editor Sherii Sherban begins at 32:00.
Remote Work Continuing Where Feasible MIOSHA has extended the current Emergency Rules for another six months, and remote work is required when feasible. The county and courts will review and adapt by department and position over the summer as a transition period toward more in-person reporting. The County also awaits information regarding the current MDHHS Gatherings and Mask Order, set to expire on April 19, and will ensure compliance with this guidance while continuing to provide mandated and necessary services to the public as we have been since last summer. Highlights from a few boards and committees: On March 22, the Calhoun County Planning Commission met virtually. Community Development Director Jen Bomba shared information from her departmental 2020 annual report, which lists the various planning and zoning review and recommendation assistance to townships, along with other accomplishments. The Commission also voted favorably on two items, including a zoning map amendment for Bedford Township and a PA 116 Farmland Preservation program application in Homer Township.
The Senior Millage Allocation Committee (SMAC) met virtually on Friday, April 2. The Committee heard presentations from three individuals interested in filling a vacant committee seat and recommended one for approval by the Board of Commissioners. Senior Services Specialist Kate Turner provided information about an interactive Centenarian project the office is developing, SMAC voted to approve mini-grants for two Albion organizations, and two subcommittees were formed by interested committee members. County commissioner Gary Tompkins chairs this committee.
There was a countywide Union Leadership Roundtable meeting on April 5, at which Human Resources Director Kim Archambault and I shared information about the upcoming 457 retirement savings Plan Consolidation, and the upcoming early retirement incentive program that will be available for employees.
On April 6, I attended a virtual call with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and White House officials regarding the American Rescue Plan, as well as the administration’s proposed infrastructure package. This is one of many webinars I have attended in the last month regarding American Rescue Plan funds and anticipated guidance from the US Treasury Department. This Treasury Department guidance is essential and then we will work with the County Board of Commissioners to make more definitive plans to strategically deploy these funds allocated to Calhoun County from this new stimulus package.
Communications Manager Lucy Blair represents Calhoun County on the two Neighborhood Improvement Authorities (NIA) in Marshall. Both the South Marshall NIA and Northeast Marshall NIA met in the last two weeks to approve their 2021-2022 budgets.
Calhoun County Board of Commissioners
Every year, the April Board of Commissioners meeting is designated by state law as the Equalization Session, when the Board of Commissioners votes to accept the report outlining countywide equalized property values by taxing jurisdiction. Click here for the 2021 Equalization Report, which was presented this year by Equalization Director Matt Hansen and Deputy Director Tom Scott. The Board also heard and approved a National County Government Month proclamation. On the consent agenda, the Board approved 2021 Blue Cross Blue Shield Administrative agreements, a resolution to seek an MDOT grant for Morgan Road and O Drive N, and a road use agreement between the County and Calhoun County Solar Project, LLC.In new business, the Board approved,
- Authorization to issue 2021 pension obligation bonds
- Contract with the City of Westland, MI for prisoner transport and lodging
- An MDOT contract for federally grant funded tree removal countywide
- A contract with Kofile for a records management upgrade in the Clerk and Register of Deeds Office
- An amendment to the contract between MSU Extension and Calhoun County for services provided to MSUE for the rest of 2021
- An agreement for land use planning services between Lee Township and the County through its Community Development Department
- 2021 remonumentation appointments and contracts
- An Early Retirement Incentive Program for qualifying employees
Around the CountyUpdate from the Road DepartmentOperations update:
- Pothole patching continues countywide
- Gravel road maintenance is complete in Athens, Albion, Bedford, Burlington, Clarendon, Convis, Homer, and Lee Townships.
- Durapatchers are patching in Emmett and Burlington Townships
- Boom mowers are working in Albion and Clarendon Townships
- Shoulder work has taken place across the county
- Tree work is nearly complete on J Drive S
Update from the Public Health DepartmentCOVID-19 vaccination clinics offered by the Public Health Department are ongoing this week, available on a walk-in basis for adults interested in receiving the vaccine. Walk-in clinics will be offered in Battle Creek on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week with the Pfizer vaccine, and the second dose will take place on Friday, May 7, 2021. The Pfizer vaccine is available to teenagers aged 16 and 17 who have a parent or legal guardian present. Visit the county vaccine webpage, calhouncountymi.gov/covidvaccine, for details on these clinics, to pre-register for an upcoming clinic, or to see other vaccine providers in Calhoun County.
This morning, April 13, Calhoun County Public Health Department heeded FDA and CDC recommendations to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read the press release for more information. Questions or comments? Please contact our Communications Manager. If you were forwarded this email, sign up to receive future emails.
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