- Message from Mark
- Mac Madness contest down to final two contenders
- Macomb County bridges selected for new bridge bundle program
- Building collapse exercise helps Macomb County Technical Rescue Team prepare for emergencies
- Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! continues success with Clean Slate Pilot Program
- Please Join Us
- Macomb in the News, Macomb Business Blog
Message from Mark
Hello and welcome to Focus Macomb. I’d like to open this edition of the newsletter by acknowledging the war in Ukraine. For more than a month, this country has been battling the Russian invasion - fighting to protect their homes, families and way of life. It’s an astronomical human tragedy, with so many lives lost and individuals injured due to the terrible actions of one man.
As I previously shared on Facebook, I was selected to join other law enforcement representatives on a visit to Ukraine in 2002 as part of Project Harmony. We toured the country and met with a number of citizens, including several young children. I know those children are now adults, and many are likely on the front lines fighting for their country. It’s heartbreaking to think about. And so as I’ve said before, we must join them in standing up to tyranny. We must continue to support the Ukrainian people for as long as necessary.
Now, I share this message with you on the cusp of April, and two weeks into the spring season.
That means construction season is here and we strongly encourage drivers to obey traffic laws and speed limits in and around work zones to keep our crews safe as they work to make your travel more pleasant. Let’s all do our part to make sure we all get home safely.
With that being said, I love this time of year in Macomb County. Trees and flowers begin to bloom, the days get longer and longer, and the temperatures start to increase. All of these changes are reasons to get outdoors and enjoy our community. For instance, I like heading out to Stony Creek Metropark and walking the trails. I also enjoy finding new spots to visit in our vibrant downtowns, like Black Cat Coffee and Clementine’s Pastries, located side-by-side in Mount Clemens. And of course, I love stopping by a local event to meet residents and visitors. There are plenty on the calendar this month, so if you’re looking for something to do, check out our events page on macombgov.org.
As you can see, our community comes alive in the spring. And there’s something for everyone. So if you want to get out, get active and get going this season, visit makemacombyourhome.com for inspiration.
Thank you and take care,
Mac Madness contest down to final two contenders
Earlier this month, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development announced the return of its “Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac" contest. Their quest? To uncover the Macomb County restaurant that serves up the best made-from-scratch dish of macaroni and cheese.
They set forth an invitation and 16 locally owned and operated eateries entered. The mix included some community stalwarts and lots of newbies representing all four corners of the county. A public vote helped them narrow down the entries from the Sweet Sixteen, to the Elite Eight, to the Final Four - and now, the contest is in its final stage. With two restaurants competing head to head for the title of Big Cheese.
Aside from the bragging rights and a plaque, both are “in the money” with the top vote getter receiving a grant of $2,500 and runner up receiving $1,000. Will you help them find the winner? The final round of voting is open now through April 1 at 8 p.m. A winner will be announced on April 4.
Here's who's still in the bracket:
Bath City Bistro: Located in downtown Mount Clemens, Bath City Bistro offers a baked mac 'n cheese dish with cavatappi pasta in a creamy three cheese sauce finished with a baked crumb top - all for $10.
K Block's Fire Pit and BBQ: Piggy Mac is on the menu at this bbq-themed Washington Township establishment. Their dish features pulled pork -- with a small costing $8 and a large at $10.
If you'd like to sample for yourself, make sure to check hours and open dates/times for each restaurant. And if you're looking to do a larger tour de Macomb for mac n' cheese, check out the Make Macomb Your Home website, which lists all of the entries, at living.macombgov.org/Living-Mac-Madness. Best of luck to the finalists!
Macomb County bridges selected for new bridge bundle program
Three Macomb County bridges have been selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to receive funding for rehabilitation and major improvements in 2022. The Local Agency Bridge Bundle Program, a newly launched initiative by MDOT, will bundle local bridge projects together to make them more cost-effective.
“Due to the efforts of our team at the Department of Roads, we have secured funding for three critical structures in Macomb County,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “We recognize that there are many more infrastructure needs across the county and we will continue to fight for the funding to help fix our roads and bridges.”
The bridge bundling pilot project currently encompasses major improvements of 19 locally owned bridges. Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) bridges that were selected for the program include the following projects that will take place in 2022:
- 33 Mile Road (Over East Branch Coon Creek)
- 31 Mile Road (Over Tupper Brook Drain)
- 26 Mile Road (Over Northbound Clinton River)
In addition to the MDOT bridge bundling projects, MCDR will be completing work on the following structures this construction season:
- 21 Mile Road (Over Middle Branch Clinton River)
- 29 Mile Road (Over the Salt River)
- Bayhaven Drive (Culvert Replacement)
- Callens Road (Over the Salt River)
- Heydenreich Road (Over Middle Branch Clinton River)
- New Haven Road (Over East Branch Coon Creek)
- Wolcott Road (Over the Tupper Brook Drain)
“Between state and county investments this year, Macomb County will see significant work that will strengthen and enhance our infrastructure and transportation network,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “We are committed to improving Macomb County's road and bridge system while delivering the greatest value to residents, drivers and our community.”
For a complete list of MCDR projects, maps and information, visit roads.macombgov.org. You can also sign up to receive email and text alerts for construction and traffic updates at roads.macombgov.org. For additional information regarding MDOT’s Bridge Bundle Program, visit michigan.gov/bridgebundling.
Building collapse exercise helps Macomb County Technical Rescue Team prepare for emergencies
On March 23, Macomb County Emergency Management and the Macomb County Technical Rescue Team held a building collapse exercise at Scalawags Golf Course in New Baltimore to train for future emergencies. The event featured multiple scenarios where emergency personnel worked to simulate reinforcing unstable structures, extract mannequins by maneuvering into narrow spaces, cutting into concrete and steel and moving heavy objects in rubble piles.
“In just this last year, we saw two major building collapse missions in different parts of the country - including Surfside, Florida and Mayfield, Kentucky,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “These tragic situations were the result of two very different scenarios, but in each incident, emergency personnel were on the ground ready to respond. We need to make sure our local teams are prepared for that as well, because every second counts when you’re working on a rescue and recovery effort.”
Several emergency responders participated in the exercise. All are members of the Macomb County Technical Rescue Team, a group made up of personnel from multiple county fire departments, including Clinton Township, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Warren, Chesterfield Township, Detroit Arsenal, Eastpointe, Lenox Township, Mount Clemens, Roseville, St. Clair Shores and Washington Township. The team trains quarterly and they respond to emergencies if requested by local incident commanders.
“Every real-life disaster is different, so it’s important to practice and prepare for a variety of scenarios,” said Brandon Lewis, director, Macomb County Emergency Management. “In this instance, we are training for a building collapse so if our teams ever need to respond to that type of situation they can take action immediately.”
In previous years, the technical rescue team has practiced structural collapse rescue, swiftwater rescue, high rise/high angle rescue and trench rescue, but the unique opportunity to train using an actual facility is rare and came about through an agreement with the owners of the defunct Scalawags Golf Club. Funding for the event was provided by the Macomb County Office of Emergency Management from the Homeland Security Grant Program.
To learn more about Macomb County Emergency Management visit oemc.macombgov.org/OEMC-Home.
Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! continues success with Clean Slate Pilot Program
In August 2021, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! launched the statewide Clean Slate Pilot (CSP) Program in Macomb and St. Clair counties. CSP is designed to help county residents get their criminal records expunged. Expungement opens the door for better jobs, better housing and educational opportunities, leading to a better quality of life.
“Since the launch of the program, there has been a notable success and great interest in CSP. Two participants have successfully completed the program, 24 participants are waiting on court dates and an additional 617 participants are active in the process of completing the program,” said Justin Al-Igoe, executive director for M/SC MW!. “In addition, DUI expungement started on February 19. Going through CSP will expunge select criminal records leading participants to secure employment along with better housing."
CSP can expunge up to three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors. Conditions for expungement include no more than two assaultive crimes and no more than one felony conviction for the same offense if it is punishable by more than 10 years imprisonment. Specific documentation about felonies and misdemeanors will be reviewed by the Macomb County Clean Slate Program to determine eligibility, and in turn, expunge criminal records.
“Macomb County remains committed to being a leader in criminal justice reform,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. "The work being done under Project Clean Slate by our workforce development team is providing new opportunities for expungement and emerging job readiness programs.”
The application for CSP is still open and can be found here. Applicants are required to provide personally identifiable information (name, home address, phone number, valid email address, etc.) and must allow a qualified M/SC MW! staff member to confidentially retrieve a record of criminal history via the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) to be considered.
Please Join Us
Macomb County Planning and Economic Development’s Macomb Next initiative helps businesses adopt Industry 4.0 technologies thereby increasing efficiency, reducing costs and freeing up employees to manage other tasks. Please join us for the program’s next workshop on April 26 from 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. at the Packard Proving Grounds. Find more details and register to attend here.
Macomb in the News
Macomb Business Blog