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Local InterestBY LUCY BLAIRCommunications Manager, Calhoun County AdministrationWhile schools are out and the community enjoys warmer weather, county government continues to provide important services to our residents and communities.Calhoun County Newsof 2019, county government has worked with community organizations on eco- nomic development, made great progress on the new Public Defender’s Office, and taken steps to increase transparency around the Road Department.The Battle Creek YMCA is the first organization to take advantage of Cal- houn County’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program. This statewide opportunity was approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2015, authorized by state statute to allow private property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with the secu- rity of a property tax special assessment in the event of default. All projects must generate sufficient energy savings to provide a positive cash flow.This office will provide a high level of indigent defense services, so consti- tutional guarantees are upheld, rights are protected, and due process is implement- ed fairly, equally, equitably, and consis- tently.The Community Development Office is busy with summer activities, such as ongoing parks maintenance and pre- paring for upcoming recycling events. While recycling is always availableat the C&C Landfill, as well as at the Marshall and Albion recycling centers, there are special collections coming up in Albion, and Battle Creek.PACE Project in Calhoun CountyMakled previously worked as an At- torney Referee in the 37th Circuit Court. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Michigan and has over 25 years of experience that will serve the county well.• Albion Area Recycling Event, includes the Albion scrap tire collection. 9am-3pm, Sat., July 27 Ketchum Field, at the intersection of N Clark St. and E North St. Electronics, scrap metal (no Freon), and scrap tires will be acceptedAdministrator/Controller Kelli Scott said in a press release, “We are happy to partner with the Battle Creek YMCA in the C-PACE program, a unique econom- ic development tool adopted by the Cal- houn County Board of Commissioners. I’m especially excited that our first local project is one that will improve the ex- perience of our residents working toward bettering their lives through fitness.”Hiring continues for the office’s planned 15-17 new county employees, with John Vincent selected as Deputy Public Defender; and Niels Magnusson, Joseph Eldred and Karen Kelly selected as senior level Assistant Public De- fenders. Check the county’s website for employment opportunities for our Public Defender’s and other offices!• Battle Creek Electronics and Polystyrene Collection9am-1pm, Saturday, Aug. 24City of Battle Creek Department of Public Works Building,The County Public Defender’s Office will start taking cases very soon, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.150 S. Kendall St.2019 Road Projects and Township PartnershipsCommunity Development activities add value to the community in unexpect- ed ways. Using grant dollars, Calhoun County Veterans Affairs worked with Marshall’s BluFish to create a 60-second commercial that will play in County movie theaters until the end of the year. The office hopes to appeal to veterans and their families who need support with federal benefits and programs, emergen- cy relief, burial benefits, and advocacy. For information, call (269) 969-6735.Public Defenders OfficeThe Calhoun County Road Depart- ment’s construction season officially began June 1. With a full schedule of construction and maintenance projects, the public can keep up with what work will be done this summer on the depart- ment’s website, www.calhouncounty- summer work builds on the efforts made in the last year. Just since the startIn March, David Makled was hired as Calhoun County’s Chief Public De- fender. This position is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight for this new office, following recent legislation setting new indigent defense standards statewide. Budgeted increases related to the creation of this office will be funded by the state.A list of 2019 projects on the website includes information about the project’s funding source, treatment, and project limits. An interactive map is also avail- able, which shows road work that will be completed throughout Calhoun County. The website is updated as projects are completed.Additionally, to ensure strong work- ing relationships with townships across Calhoun County, the Road Department has held meetings with Township Super- visors to discuss upcoming projects, as well as relevant policies that affect how primary and local roads are maintained and kept safe for the motoring public. This summer, the Board of Commission- ers has approved numerous contracts with townships to make sure that, while we’re working with limited resources, townships are ensured their crucial proj- ects will be addressed.Go to Facebook and find out what’s happening.Search Calhoun County Recycling14 SCENE 4407 I ANNUAL REPORTCounty recycling services available for all residents!

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