- Message from Mark
- Macomb County receives Consumers Energy Foundation grant
- Macomb County Emergency Management guidance for severe weather
- Macomb Business Awards announced, nominations being accepted
- Volunteers needed for Senior Services program
- Placemaking grants available through Macomb County
- Manufacturing Day 2022, host sites and sponsors needed
- A message from Macomb County Animal Control
- Save the Date(s)
- Macomb in the News, Macomb Business Blog
Message from Mark
Welcome to another edition of Focus Macomb, our newsletter for all things Macomb County.
It’s been a busy start to summer in my office. In mid-May, we built a county team to participate in the Kicking for a Cause Municipal Charity Kickball Game in Orion Township. And while we didn’t take home the championship trophy, it was great to see so many of my peers and to get a little competitive on the field. I then marked Memorial Day by walking in the annual St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade and remembering the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. It was an honor to be included in the event and a pleasure to see so many community members out recognizing the day as well.
Now, with the approaching Fourth of July holiday, there are plenty of additional local events and celebrations here in Macomb County. For instance, The Selfridge Open House and Air Show is taking place July 9-10 at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township. This family-friendly event is special to our community, so if you’d like to attend, click here to learn more. Or, if you’d rather get involved and volunteer, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to reserve your spot. I’d also like to remind our readers that Make Macomb Your Home can be your number one source for finding seasonal fun throughout our 27 municipalities. From parades to parks, there’s something for everyone here.
And while summer is just getting started, our Department of Planning and Economic Development is already thinking about fall and our annual celebration of Manufacturing Day. Every year, our team organizes tours of manufacturing plants so high school students can experience what the industry is all about. The goal is to connect classrooms with careers and to inspire our future workforce. But none of that is possible without the support of our local businesses, which open their doors and allow us to see their employees in action. So if you’re interested in getting involved this year as a host site, you can find additional details and sign up information here.
Thank you. Here’s to a fun and safe summer season.
Macomb County presented with $250,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation
Officials from Macomb County and its Planning and Economic Development Department (MCPED) were recently presented with a $250,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation as part of the foundation’s Planet Awards initiative. The funds will assist the County’s Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership with efforts to double local tree canopy.
“This is one of the largest philanthropic grants ever awarded to the County, and that speaks to the vision and ability of our Planning and Economic Development team,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “I am so proud of that department and the continued work they are doing to increase native trees and plants in our community, and I am grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for recognizing us and our commitment to the environment through the generous Planet Awards.”
Macomb County Planning and Economic Development was the top recipient of the foundation’s 2022 Planet Award grant funding, which saw a collective $500,000 distributed to three different programs and initiatives making a significant impact on Michigan’s environment.
“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources. Our Planet Awards represent that commitment in action,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re excited to support Macomb County’s urban canopy project and confident it will significantly help preserve Michigan’s natural beauty.”
Using the grant dollars, MCPED’s Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership will plant 1,000 trees, 1,500 native shrubs and 40 acres of pollinator habitat, which will help the County capture and treat nearly 450,000 gallons of stormwater and more than 3,000 tons of carbon each year.
“Macomb’s tree cover is 26 percent, which falls short of the USDA recommendation of a 40 percent cover or better in urban areas,” said Gerard Santoro, program director for parks and natural resources at MCPED. “ This grant funding will help us make a significant impact and get us closer to reaching our goal of doubling our number of trees.”
Current plans for tree plantings include projects in Mount Clemens, Harrison Township and Clinton Township. Additional planting opportunities will be offered to Shelby Township, Macomb Township, Roseville, Eastpointe, Warren, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Utica and Center Line.
“The benefits of this work are very clear,” Santoro said. “Not only will we beautify local areas, we will enhance natural habitat for a variety of native species. And this results in better home values, lower energy costs, better health outcomes for residents and a stronger, more resilient environment that is well equipped to handle big weather events and other climate issues.”
The Consumers Energy Foundation has distributed $1.5 million to 10 organizations over the three years of the Planet Awards. In addition to the Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership, 2022 grantees include Oshtemo Township in Kalamazoo County, which will restore the ecological health of a two-mile section of the Fruit Belt Rail Corridor, and the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority’s “Healing the Huron River Headwaters” project, which will restore the forested wetland and floodplain habitats that make up the headwater area of the Huron River.
Green Macomb was founded in 2016 by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development to support green infrastructure efforts that strengthen economic vitality, quality of life and environmental well-being. Program leaders have established diverse partnerships since its creation, working with local municipalities, businesses, private residents and nonprofit organizations to advance its mission. The foundation’s Planet Awards grant funding is an additional example of its innovative approach to enhancing the region's land and water resources.
Macomb County Emergency Management offers guidance for staying safe during severe weather
On July 24, 2021, Macomb County experienced a destructive severe weather event, as the Village of Armada and Armada Township were impacted by an EF-1 tornado with winds of 105 miles per hour. Fortunately, there were no injuries during this event, but over 100 structures were damaged and recovery crews spent days removing debris and restoring utilities. The community continues to rebuild today. As we approach the one year anniversary of the storm, it’s a good time to review the basics of severe weather and what you need to know to keep you and your family safe.
Severe weather refers to the dangerous effects created by changes in the atmosphere that result in tornadoes, extreme thunderstorms or blizzards. Severe storms—often packed with heavy rains, strong winds, flooding, hail and lightning—can wreak havoc in a short time.
When severe weather happens or has the potential to, the National Weather Service issues alerts in the form of Watches and Warnings. But what do these terms mean, and what should you do when they are issued?
A WATCH means severe weather has the potential to happen. The indicators are there for an event, like a thunderstorm or tornado, to occur. When a watch is issued, bring in pets and secure anything that can blow away. If you're outside, identify the nearest secure shelter and head that way. Get off the roads if at all possible. Don't wait for the warning to occur. Many storms are fast-moving and can go from possible to happening very quickly.
A WARNING means severe weather is happening or about to happen. When a warning is issued, take immediate shelter with your family, your pets, your NOAA radio, and your emergency kit. Shelter should be in the lowest possible level of a building – such as a basement if possible. Get to an interior, windowless room – like a bathroom, closet, or underneath a stairwell. When warnings are issued, they're generally for a more localized area than a watch – covering smaller areas and, perhaps, shorter periods of time.
Due to the possibility of severe storms and tornadoes developing quickly, it is important to have a reliable outdoor warning system. There are 146 outdoor warning sirens located throughout Macomb County. It is the responsibility of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office to activate the tornado sirens when:
- A Tornado Warning is issued by the National Weather Service
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning accompanied by winds 70 mph or greater
- Tornado and/or funnel cloud sightings that have been verified by a reputable source
In addition, all sirens are tested on the first Saturday every month at 1 p.m. Each siren is capable of covering about a one-mile radius from its location. The sirens are designed to alert residents who are outside, but residents inside their homes or buildings may hear the siren if they are close to the siren location. The system may also be activated for other incidents that require immediate alerting of our population to take certain protective actions. These events may include, but are not limited to, a Hazardous Material Spill that may impact the community and require either an evacuation or in-place sheltering. The county does not activate our system for an “all clear” notification once the threat is no longer present.
Preparation is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts during the severe weather season that is here. Twelve ways you can prepare for severe weather are:
- Sign up for emergency alerts and warnings
- Make time to discuss an emergency plan with your familySave for a rainy day
- Practice emergency drills
- Test family communication plan
- Safeguard important documents
- Plan with neighbors
- Make your home safer by bringing in items that could blow away
- Know evacuation routes
- Assemble or update emergency supplies
- Get involved in your community
- Document and insure your property
For more preparedness materials such as a fillable Family Communication Plan card or the different types of emergency alerts and warnings, visit https://www.ready.gov/plan.
Macomb Business Awards return, nomination period now open for businesses
It’s official! The annual Macomb Business Awards will be held Thursday, September 22. The event, which is now in its tenth year, recognizes local businesses in a variety of categories.
“Every year we look forward to the Macomb Business Awards because it gives us a chance to gather and celebrate local organizations that are outstanding in their field,” said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED). “I’m thrilled to see this event return for its tenth year and with several new award categories, I’m excited to see who receives top honors.”
This year’s nomination categories are as follows:
- Hidden Gem
A business with up to 50 employees that offers a unique “made in Macomb” 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 or supplier of any size in any industry that is achieving success through its efforts to diversify its customer base and implement new technologies or efficiencies, including Industry 4.0 practices.
- Small But Mighty Award
A microbusiness or small operation with less than ten employees that has identified an important community need and addressed it through their service or offerings. Must have a brick and mortar presence.
- Trailblazer of Future Talent
A company that creates 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 agility and 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.
Nominations opened on June 13 and will close on July 13. The online application can be found here. Once the submission portal closes, the nominees will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will then select the winners.
The Macomb Business Awards recognizes outstanding businesses that have made Macomb County their home. It will feature networking opportunities and presentations from leaders who will discuss relevant business topics.
Volunteers needed for yard cleanup project aimed at helping homebound seniors
The Macomb County Office of Senior Services is in need of volunteers to assist with a yard cleanup initiative. The service is offered through the Handy Helper Program, which assists local seniors with a variety of one-time minor home maintenance services.
“We have about 150 homebound seniors who are asking for our help through this project, so the need is great,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “But I am confident our community will respond and offer services that support these individuals and strengthen our neighborhoods.”
Senior Services is looking for groups, corporations, clubs or churches wishing to volunteer for a one day event that will assist seniors in maintaining home exteriors. Services will include flower bed cleanup, outdoor window washing, leaf raking, flower bed clean-up and small tree branch trimming.
“This is a great opportunity for organizations or businesses to give back to our community,” said Sheila Coté, director, Macomb County Office of Senior Services. “Many seniors have mobility issues and have difficulty with yard work. Offering this service provides a peace of mind for our seniors and allows them to continue aging in place.”
Senior Services will book clean up events based on volunteer availability and schedules. They will also provide all supplies needed (shovels, rakes, bags. etc.).
Individuals interested in getting involved can contact the Office of Senior Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mca.macombgov.org/MCA-Seniors-MOW-Volunteer.
The Handy Helper Program is available to Macomb County seniors aged 60 and older and is currently accepting requests for assistance. Services in this program include heavy duty cleaning, pest control, carpet cleaning and repair or replacement of light bulbs, weather stripping, faucets etc. To access this service please contact the Office of Senior Services at 586-469-5228 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.).
Placemaking grants available to local communities through Macomb County Planning and Economic Development
Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) has launched a new Placemaking Mini Grant opportunity, a program which will fund projects in traditional downtown communities and other established DDA jurisdictions. The grant aims to assist local initiatives that activate public placemaking, or places where people gather and spend time, and that support the sustainability and greening of infrastructure and stormwater systems.
“We know that beautiful spaces with well designed infrastructure can be a major asset for municipalities, as they attract residents, businesses and additional investment,” said Amanda Minaudo, program director for MCPED. “But ultimately, our goal is to help create community and fund projects with vision and purpose.”
Projects that fit this description would include, but are not limited to:
- Streetscape Beautification & Walkability
- Public Plaza Development/Enhancement
- Access and Connectivity to Public Amenities (Riverwalks, Canoe Livery, Pier Enhancements)
- Farmers Markets, Pop-Up Retail/Incubator Space (community or non-profit)
- Alley Rehabilitation/Greening
- Green and Sustainable Infrastructure (Rain Gardens, Bioswales, Pollinator Gardens, Etc.)
- Park Enhancements
- Non-Motorized Infrastructure (Benches, Bike Racks, Repair Stations, Wayfinding Signage, Etc.)
- Band shells, Amphitheaters, Outdoor Community Theaters
- Place Branding & Event Implementation
- Murals and Public Art
The projects must also be located in Macomb County’s traditional downtowns and other established DDA jurisdictions. The following communities are therefore eligible: Village of Armada (DDA), Center Line (DDA), Eastpointe (DDA), Mount Clemens (DDA), New Baltimore (DDA), Richmond (DDA), Village of Romeo (DDA), Roseville (DDA), Saint Clair Shores (Nautical Mile & 9/Mack), Shelby Township (DDA), Warren (DDA) and Utica (downtown area).
“Our department is thrilled to offer this new opportunity to our municipalities and we hope that local leaders see the value in the program,” Minaudo said. “There are a lot of really creative ways to address placemaking in communities and this funding opens up everyone’s ability to take a chance and try something new.”
Eligible projects must have a minimum total development cost of $10,000, where the recipient will commit to a 50 percent match for the project. This match can be in the form of in-kind work, crowdfunding, funding from community partners or allocated dollars from the community/DDA. The maximum award for these grant funds will be $20,000. MCPED is seeking to fund one to two projects per fiscal year.
“We also hope that applicants establish public awareness for their desired projects and gain some local momentum with their residents,” said John Culcasi, senior planner, MCPED. “These types of initiatives can affect the lives and well-being of entire communities, so it’s essential that there is some grassroots support.”
The grant application, evaluation criteria and additional information is available here. The application period opens June 14 and closes July 19, with funding awarded August 1.
Learn more about Macomb County Planning and Economic Development at ped.macombgov.org/PED-Home.
MFG Day Week host sites and sponsors needed
Mark your calendars for the return of Manufacturing Day, which this year, will be celebrated for an entire week! MFG Day Week 2022 will run from October 3 through October 7 and will provide opportunities for students to tour area advanced manufacturing facilities and meet people who make things. This ultimately connects classroom to career and inspires the next generation of our workforce.
The 9th annual event is coordinated by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development and the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD). Their goal – to have 2,000 students from all 27 Macomb County high schools participate. It’s a big lift, which is why organizers are reaching out looking for host sites and sponsors now. Are you interested in joining the effort? Learn more and sign up to get involved here.
A message from Macomb County Animal Control
Greetings from Chief Randazzo!
Welcome to summer 2022! We’ve been busy over here, with lots more ahead. So far, in 2022, we have adopted out 356 animals, returned 180 animals to their owners and graduated 477 cats from our Community Cat Program (shelter, neuter and release for feral cats).
Twenty of the 356 adoptions happened as a result of our last adoption event. I am happy to announce that we are having another adoption event on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at our facility located on 21417 Dunham Road in Clinton Township. If you are interested in viewing adoptable animals, please visit the Animal Control – Adopt. We recommend completing an adoption application before arriving at this event. We hope you will spread the word and stop by to meet some of our amazing adoptable guests!
Since July is fast approaching, let’s talk about heat and fireworks. Extreme heat is dangerous for people and their pets. Bring your pets inside when you can. Make sure they have plenty of water, and protect their paws from hot asphalt (we use generous amounts of Paw Pad Shield when we’re taking our animals out and about!). And never leave your pets in a hot car. We do not recommend taking pets to fireworks displays. Many animals find them frightening and will panic, even if they are in familiar environments. More dogs go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, because even the bravest animals can panic and run.
Last but not least, I want to express appreciation to our supporters. We are very proud of the care, services and programs we provide, but it would not be possible without the generosity of our community. It is through this generosity that we are able to offer financial assistance to pet owners who may be considering surrendering their pets because they are unable to provide medical care. If you or someone you know needs this kind of assistance, please visit our Pet Retention webpage for an application and more information about the terms and conditions of this program.
There are countless more examples of this generosity. Watch this video to learn about Koa, a puppy who came to us suffering from the deadly Parvo virus. Koa’s journey was touch-and-go, and at one point, it looked like he might have to be euthanized. But expert veterinary care, paid for by generous donations, pulled him through, and he is well on his way to recovery.
Speaking of videos, did you know we have our own show? For an inside view of animal control, watch and subscribe to On Patrol with Animal Control! Advisory: some of these videos show animals in stressful or dangerous situations.
Not everyone can bring an animal into their home, but there are countless other ways to help, and Macomb County comes through for us, time after time. If you’d like to assist us in our mission, you can donate through our website. You can also shop our Amazon Wish List.
Take care (of yourself and your pets!).
Save the Date(s)
Macomb in the News
Macomb Business Blog