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Office of County Executive
Mark A. Hackel

In This Issue....

We're All Ambassadors From Macomb
Community Climate Survey Results
New Operations Center in the Works for Macomb County
Fundraising Luncheon Helps Vietnam Vets
Blue Economy Initiative Reimaging Waterfront
MCHD Helps Prepare for Back to School and Flu Season
Michigan State University Extension Program Benefits Local Youth
Cass Avenue Construction Underway
Local Businesses Support Macomb Orchard Trail

We're All Ambassadors From Macomb

By: Mark Hackel, County Executive

MarkHackel0.jpgOne of our primary responsibilities in County Government is focusing on making the county an attractive place to call home, do business or enjoy leisure. Macomb County provides services to the public such as business retention and attraction efforts, public safety, clean streets, and numerous other areas focused on marketing and promoting the county. These programs all make a difference, but what you do can have an even larger impact. Macomb County voters overwhelmingly supported a new county charter that made marketing Macomb County a mandated function of the County Executive. It's a responsibility we all share. How we represent our county to others impacts their perception of us and influences their decision to experience our home. We all have our own vision of what Macomb County is. For some it is the blue waters that span the horizon from our shore, the safe neighborhoods our families call home, the manufacturing and innovating powerhouse that has supplied our country the arsenal of innovation it needed to endure. Whatever Macomb means to you, let us join together and share it. Each and every time someone new decides to make Macomb their home, we all benefit. As a representative of Macomb County to the outside, people you encounter could become patrons of your business, your new neighbors, or even just fellow taxpayers that ensure services such as public safety remain affordable in your community. When newcomers join, we all share the benefit. The next time you're asked about Macomb County, don't just tell them where we are, proudly share with them who we are and what we do.

Community Climate Survey Results

By: Al Lorenzo, Assistant County Executive & Nick Posavetz, Associate Planner

The results are in and thank you to those who participated in the first Community Climate Survey. More than 1,000 responses were collected and residents from every community in the county shared their feedback. It is great to see the positive community sentiment present in the results. A strong majority of residents report being happy living in the county and were satisfied with each of the community well-being surveyed. Over the last census period Macomb was the fastest growing county in Michigan and these findings help explain why. Some quick facts that we learned in the survey:

  • Macomb County is slowing the brain drain, with more residents aged 20-34 wanting to remain in the county.
  • All residents report positive sentiment on living in the county, and that favorability increases with age.
  • Each aspect of the community well-being surveyed played an important role in influencing a resident's decision to live here, but the quality of public safety ranked the highest.

This information is not fluff and will do more than provide a feel good moment – the feedback we received from the community will be used to help guide policy decisions and as a barometer against future surveys to track our progress.

New Operations Center in the Works for Macomb County

By: Vicki Wolber, Emergency Management Coordinator

On Aug. 1, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced his plan to build an $11 million dollar state of state-of-the-art operations and communications center that is the first of its kind in Michigan. The center will combine communication between several Macomb County departments such as the Sheriff's Office dispatch, the Roads Department Traffic Operations Center, the Information Technology Data Center and the Emergency Management & Communications Department. Because many County departments are connected to each other on a daily basis, the center will provide a location that is operable 24/7 and has the ability to monitor, manage, prevent, protect and respond throughout the County. It will be located at the current site of the Department of Roads building at 117 S. Groesbeck in Mount Clemens and will be over 25,000 square feet, accommodating over 70 current staff plus room for more growth. Renovations related to the creation of the center include:

  • a 20-by-40-foot video wall that will be accessible to the Roads Department, Sheriff's dispatch and Emergency Management
  • eight traffic monitoring positions
  • twenty-four dispatch positions
  • a fully-functional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and data center
  • emergency generator power
  • computer lab/training room facility
  • shared communications and technologies (radio, voice, data, video).
  • shared shipping and receiving
  • shared conference rooms

The EOC configuration will serve as a state-of-the-art training facility as well as central computer lab to allow the county to share the same "operating picture" for events such as severe weather outbreaks, traffic stops/accidents or other large-scale emergencies. The center will provide these services at a value to the public, resulting in decreased long-term operational costs. Secured funding coming from a variety of sources – a majority of which are from outside the County – will facilitate the construction of the new command center:

  • The County will be covering $4.34 million -- $3.57 million will come from capital improvements and $770,500 will come from the Sheriff's Office.
  • Michigan Department of Transportation, $3.98 million
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), $1 million
  • Emergency Operations Center Grant Program, $250,000
  • Homeland Security, $725,000
  • Economic Vitality Incentive Program, $2 million. (pending)

A date for opening of the center has not yet been determined.

Fundraising Luncheon Helps Vietnam Vets

By: Denise Mentzer, Business Counseling Aide, Department of Planning & Economic Development

Thank you to everyone who participated in the second annual Planning and Economic Development fundraising luncheon. Local restaurateur Bud Montreuil of John Barleycorn's provided a taco bar for the lunch for a special rate. This year was dedicated to aiding local Vietnam Veterans Chapter 154 in Roseville with the support of department director Stephen Cassin. The luncheon was held for all county employees in the Macomb County Administration Building in downtown Mount Clemens. In all, 75 employees bought tickets for the luncheon and contributed more than 180 pounds of non-perishable food for the center's food pantry. County staff and officials also donated an assortment of great items and gift baskets for a silent auction. Major contributions came from County Executive Mark Hackel, Prosecutor Eric Smith and Treasurer Ted Wahby as well as generous support from Board Chair Kathy Vosberg and Commissioners Dave Flynn and Fred Miller. The event and raffle raised more than $2,100 for the "Pop Kramer's Macomb County Veteran's Food Bank."This year's event builds on the momentum from last year's luncheon which raised $600 to support local Girl Scouts. Next year will also support another local cause. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you there!

Blue Economy Initiative Reimaging Waterfront

By: Gerard Santoro, Program Manager Water Resources & Development

The Macomb County Blue Economy Initiative has been successful in its first full year. The launch started a number of new events and projects focused on enhancing access, economic development and the environment of our water resources. "Circle the Lake" signs were installed across the county. Responses from local business and residential communities have been very positive. Signage directing viewers to our website for resources and events associated with the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair has significantly improved the number of visits. In early June, the inaugural "Sprint and Splash" duathlon was a great way to start off the summer season. A great turnout and enthusiastic participation made this a fun event and unique way to begin the warm weather season. Participants from half a dozen states attended our new internationally sanctioned stand up paddling competition.

At AquaPalooza, held this summer along the sandy bottoms near Belle Maer and MacRay Harbor Marinas in Harrison Township, thousands of boaters turned out to enjoy the nine headline acts while also celebrating the beauty and fun that is Lake St. Clair. This is to become a regular event along the shores of Lake St.Clair. Still on the calendar for this boating season is an outdoor boat show at Lake St. Clair Metropark the third weekend in September and Navy Week & the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812. Come and be a part of the rediscovery of Macomb County's very special and celebrated waterways. More information about the Blue Economy is available on the Make Macomb Your Home website.

MCHD Helps Prepare for Back to School and Flu Season

By: Kevin P. Lokar, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Health Department

It's back-to-school season – meaning it's probably a good idea to visit the Macomb County Health Department, often a first line of defense against illness for all County residents – children in particular. In 2011 alone, the department served 29,604 visitors and provided more than 52,000 vaccinations. Below are some of the services available to you and your family through Macomb County. Babies born in Macomb County should be immunized against 15 vaccine preventable illnesses by age 2. The Macomb County Health Department (MCHD) Immunization Clinic offers all the vaccinations that protect children at a low cost.

Childhood vaccinations:

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (seasonal)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis ("Whooping Cough")
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Varicella ("Chickenpox")

In addition to vaccinations to help get children ready for school, the Macomb County Health Department has a "Starting School Guide" and conducts hearing and vision screenings for incoming kindergartners - all of this information is located at The website is very helpful by providing information on all of the different services that we offer through the various programs.

Seasonal flu vaccine

In addition to back to school, it's time to get ready for flu season in Michigan. Each year, MCHD Immunization Clinic provides thousands of seasonal flu shots at low cost to children and adults throughout Macomb County. In 2011, we provided 15,778 vaccinations. This year, seasonal flu shots will be available beginning on Sept. 10 at each of the MCHD Health Services centers. Seasonal flu protection lasts approximately one year and the CDC recommends that all persons 6 months of age and up receive a yearly flu shot. The seasonal flu shot is $15.

Vaccination fees

The MCHD Immunization Clinic does not bill commercial insurance providers for any vaccinations, including seasonal flu shots. If your insurance provider does not cover immunization services, the fees charged at the MCHD Immunization Clinic may be significantly lower than the fees charged at your physician's office. Medicaid and/or Medicare will be billed for approved vaccines; there may be some charges for vaccination administration.

Finding a MCHD Immunization Clinic

Currently, there are three MCHD Immunization Clinic locations: Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores and Warren. Each office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and different locations are open late one day a week. Immunizations are available on a walk-in and appointment basis.

Central Health Service Center
43525 Elizabeth Road, Mount Clemens, 48043
(586) 469-5372
Mon.,Tues., Thurs., Fri
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Southeast Health Service Center
25401 Harper Avenue, St. Clair Shores, 48081
(586) 466-6800
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Southwest Health Service Center
27690 Van Dyke, Warren, 48093
(586) 465-8537
Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri.
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the services offered at any of the MCHD Immunization Clinics, please call one of our locations: Mount Clemens (586) 469-5372, St. Clair Shores (586) 466-6800 or Warren (586) 465-8537.

Michigan State University Extension Program Benefits Local Youth

By: Dequindre Bell, 4-H Youth Mentoring Program Coordinator & Scott Lakin, Extension Educator 4-H Tech Wizards

The Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Mentor Program has provided mentor services to Macomb County youth since 1991. We match qualified adult volunteers with Macomb County youth in need of guidance, encouragement, and direction. The goal is to prevent youth from becoming more deeply involved with the court systems. We are a prevention program, proven to save county tax dollars by diverting youth from more costly levels of care and intervention. A new initiative that Michigan State University Extension has brought to Macomb County is the STEM focused, group mentoring program known as 4-H Tech Wizards. Funded by grants through National 4-H from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 4-H Tech Wizards came to Ottawa and Wayne Counties last year. MSUE was able to acquire additional funds in the second year to serve Macomb and Oakland Counties. With programming and staff dollars from this grant combined with Macomb County's administrative support of MSU Extension, we are able to provide this unique STEM program to Macomb County youth.

In order to continue to provide these great resources to the youth of Macomb County, we need volunteers to become mentors!

Prospective mentors are required to attend initial training, followed by background checks, including a Protective Services check. They participate in a personal interview and provide three written references. Mentors must be 21 years or older, can be male or female, and can come from various ethnic, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds. Mentors meet with their youth two hours per week for 12 months. There are monthly group meetings for support. All of them should have a genuine desire to help youth move in more positive directions. 4-H Tech Wizards delivers programming centered on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a group mentoring format. As we struggle to maintain our supply of professionals in STEM fields in Macomb and in Michigan, 4-H Tech Wizards is a new way to encourage STEM exposure and interest amongst youth. By matching four young people with a professional from those fields, youth not only get to work on projects that pique their interest but also have a mentor with experience to lead them. 4-H Tech Wizards meets once a week at sites throughout the county. Adult mentors and their youth matches work on various projects like rocketry, robotics, general science, computer programming, and video/audio production. MSU Extension provides training, equipment, and match support throughout the program. Please contact Dequindre Bell at (586) 469-5979 or for Mentoring. Please contact Alex Boyd at (586) 307-8934 or for Tech Wizards

Cass Avenue Construction Underway

By Bob Hoepfner, Macomb County Department of Roads Director

Cass Avenue from Gratiot to Groesbeck is finally getting the facelift and structural upgrades it so desperately needs. The reconstruction has been tagged as a main priority by our department. Contractors began work on Cass Avenue, a main artery leading to the heart of Mount Clemens and several County buildings, in early July. This project has been on the Roads Department "wish list" for a few years, and made possible by a Federal grant becoming available to cover 80 percent of the $3.3 million project. Currently, just one lane of the three-lane road remains open to eastbound traffic into Mount Clemens and westbound traffic is detoured to several other roads in the area. To ease some of the burden that naturally occurs from such a major construction project, the Department of Roads reached out to affected property and business owners along Cass Avenue prior to the start of the construction to ensure a smooth construction. Local motorists and businesses can enjoy the results upon anticipated completion in mid-November.

Local Businesses Support Macomb Orchard Trail

The Macomb Orchard Trail began in 2001 when Macomb County agreed to buy a stretch of abandoned railway. Grants totaling nearly $3.5 million from federal, state and foundation sources helped to purchase the land, engineer the path and build it. Today, the 23.5 mile linear park is completely paved. Nine "trailheads" offer lots where people can park and then walk, run or bike to their heart's content. Scattered restrooms, pavilions and water fountains have helped to increase usage. Annual events, including the Romeo2Richmond Race and the Apple Blossom Gala of Races, continue to grow in popularity. Attracting large crowds during events, combined with hundreds of daily users, offers unique opportunities for businesses along the way. During the summer of 2012, Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development launched an advertising campaign. Devised as a way to create greater foot traffic for businesses along the trail, advertising dollars also help to fund the costs associated with printing the Macomb Orchard Trail Map and maintaining signage. Special thanks to the first advertisers:

Special thanks to Rachael Lisecki from Planning & Economic Development for spearheading this project and her ongoing dedication to the trail. Advertising opportunities are still available for businesses and organizations targeting health-conscious and active customers. For more information: Advertise on the MOT