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Planning and Economic Development



Message from Mark




Hello and welcome to the April edition of Focus Macomb. It’s been a beautiful month, with warm weather and sunshine. Certainly a fantastic start to spring. If you’re like me, and you’re ready to get outside and enjoy everything our community has to offer, please visit We’ve got listings for everything from parks and trails to golf courses to family-friendly places to play. You can also check out the Make Macomb Your Home Facebook Events page, which features all kinds of local things to do.

In addition to a time for getting outdoors and getting active, spring also marks the beginning of construction season, which is why we recognized National Work Zone Awareness Week from April 17-21. Over the next few months, you’ll see the hard-working crews from the Macomb County Department of Roads out on projects across our community. Please do your part to protect these workers by following this guidance:

  • Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
  • Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.

As you can see, it’s everyone’s responsibility when it comes to the safety of road workers. So please keep that in mind this season and beyond.

Thank you and take care.



Macomb Business Award winners to be announced May 4


Anticipation is building for the 11th annual Macomb Business Awards presented by Consumers Energy. The event, which will be held Thursday, May 4, will see hundreds of business and community leaders gather at the historic Emerald Theatre in downtown Mount Clemens. Together, they’ll celebrate the announcement of winners in the following categories:

  • Hidden Gem: A business with up to 50 employees that offers a unique Macomb County product or service that more people should know about.
  • Hometown Hero: An organization that goes above and beyond to help their community by providing assistance, donations, volunteer and/or promotional support to a cause or for a local need.
  • Manufacturer of the Year: A manufacturer of any size in any industry that is achieving success through its efforts to diversify its customer base and implement new technologies or efficiencies.
  • Small But Mighty Award: A microbusiness with less than ten employees that is addressing a consumer need through its products or services. Must have a brick and mortar presence in Macomb County.
  • Trailblazer of Future Talent: A company that c​reates opportunities for the next generation of Macomb County’s workforce to explore career possibilities and experience work-based learning.
  • Workforce Champion: A company that demonstrates creativity in response to workforce needs, including talent attraction, employee retention and making a conscious effort to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace for all.

Stay tuned to find out who will be announced as the winner in each category and learn more about the event at


Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returns May 13


The National Association of Letter Carriers will be out and on a mission to diminish the problem of food insecurity in America on Saturday, May 13. The date marks the 31st Annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, which will see postal workers in Macomb County neighborhoods, picking up donated food from mailboxes.

“The food drive is critical to our mission to feed the hungry," said Shannon Mallory, program manager, Macomb Food Program. “We are seeing unprecedented levels of need, accompanied with rising food costs. As a result, this food drive is more important than ever.”

The importance of the second Saturday in May is front and center for letter carriers, postal coworkers, and family and community volunteers. Donations collected on this day provide emergency food supplies for thousands of families and individuals; including veterans, seniors, children and the homeless. Last year Macomb County residents donated 209,055pounds of food to neighbors in need.

“We want the community to help spread the word that the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is helping to feed the hungry in Macomb County,” said Executive Mark Hackel. “It’s an incredibly important opportunity for residents to give back and help their neighbors. So I’m hoping we can all come together to support those in need.”

Individuals participating in the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive should fill a bag or two with non-perishable, non-expired food and leave it on their porch or near their mailbox on Saturday, May 13. Glass containers will not be accepted. The United States Postal Service letter carriers and a league of volunteers pick up the donations.

All donations stay in Macomb County and will be distributed to those in need through the Macomb Food Program's network of over 50 food pantries and hunger related organizations. 


Macomb County and community team up to clean up roads


The Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) is asking residents to spring into action to help keep the roads and community clean by adopting a county roadway. Registered participants can now start cleaning adopted roads and applications to adopt available roadways are being accepted.

“Whether people are visiting Macomb County for the first time or driving on our roads daily, the appearance of our roadways matters,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “The Adopt-A-County Road program is a great opportunity for individuals and groups to take an active role in our community while making a positive environmental change.”

There is no cost to participate in the program and individuals, families, businesses, charitable organizations, schools and other groups can adopt a section of road. A simple three-step adoption process and a commitment of two cleanups per year is all it takes to make a positive difference in Macomb County. MCDR provides safety vests, trash bags and safety guidelines and information to registered participants.

As part of the program, participants receive roadside signage highlighting their organization and are included in the online map of adopted roads and the list of sponsors displayed on the Adopt-A-County Road website.

“While we work to build and repair our roads, everyone can help keep our community clean by adopting a county road,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “With no costs and an easy process to get started, the Adopt-A-County Road program is a great opportunity for individuals and groups to take an active role in our community.”

Applying for the program is easy and can be completed online. Additional information, an interactive map and a comprehensive list of adopted and available roads are available at

For additional information, questions, or to request an application by mail or email, contact MCDR’s Adopt-A-County Road program at or 586-463-8671.


K-Block’s Fire Pit BBQ wins title of Best Mac in the Mac contest for second year in a row


After two weeks of brackets, and thousands of votes cast by the general public, K-Block’s Fire Pit BBQ was recently announced as the winner of the third annual Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac contest. This is the second year in a row that K-Block’s has been given the Mac Madness title. 

“I’d like to congratulate K-Block’s Fire Pit BBQ for its back-to-back win in our Best Mac in the Mac contest,” said County Executive Mark Hackel. “They’ve been able to take this simple dish and add unique BBQ flavors to create their own signature mac n cheese. I think we should all make our way to K-Block's and give it a try. I’d also like to congratulate and thank all of our other participants. This contest is a fun way to tie in the March Madness hype and highlight that Macomb County continues to be a destination for dining out.”

The initiative, which was organized by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), sought to highlight housemade macaroni and cheese at locally owned and operated restaurants. Sixteen establishments went head-to-head in the competition, with K-Block’s coming out on top.

K-Block’s Fire Pit BBQ is located at 66880 Van Dyke in Washington Township. The restaurant promotes itself as serving the best barbeque in Michigan, with time tested family recipes and proven techniques which deliver a variety of meats and sides to customers. Brian Knoblock is its pitmaster and owner. His winning dish, called Frito Mac, has a layer of Fritos, cheese and beans, and is topped with brisket and cilantro.

As the winner of the Best Mac in the Mac contest, K-Block’s receives:

  • A $2,000 grant from Macomb County
  • The Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac plaque
  • Bragging rights

A $1,000 grant was also awarded to the runner-up, Bath City Bistro, located at 75 Macomb Place in Mount Clemens.

Though the contest has concluded, the public is encouraged to get out and taste test entries from all of the restaurants that participated. Find those restaurants, and additional details and information, at


Macomb County celebrates dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week


The second week of April is recognized each year as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week,” a time to formally acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of Public Safety Dispatchers. Telecommunicators Week began with a local initiative by Patricia Anderson in Contra Costa County, California in 1981 and quickly grew to become a national week of recognition. Just 10 years later, Congress officially designated the second week of each April as a period to remember the critical role that dispatchers play in keeping us all safe.

"Dispatchers are oftentimes the first of the first responders the public has contact with," said County Executive Mark A. Hackel. "They are essential in connecting the public with our police, fire and EMS personnel. Although this is the nationally recognized week, I want all dispatchers to know they are appreciated each and every day for the incredible work they perform.”

These dedicated individuals are available seven days-a-week, 24 hours a day, ready to jump in to help whenever that call comes in. 911 dispatchers are among the first and most critical contact citizens have with emergency services.

“Our dispatchers are highly trained and dedicated to their profession,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “The unknown exists every time they answer a 911 call or an officer's radio transmission. Our dispatchers are caring, compassionate and care for the safety of our citizens and the first responders who serve them. I thank all public safety dispatchers for a job well done.”

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office is always looking for career-driven individuals to join their dedicated team of 911 dispatchers to make a positive difference in the community. Whether you are graduating high school,attending college or considering a career change, this is a great opportunity. And it’s more than a job. For more information on becoming a Macomb County 911 dispatcher, please visit


    Save the Date



Industry 4.0 Workshop:

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality

Thursday, June 15, 2023
Velocity Center
6633 18 Mile Road Sterling Heights, MI 48314





Sprint and Splash

Saturday, August 12, 2023
Lake St. Clair Metropark



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