Page 17 - Scene Magazine 45-08 August 2020
P. 17

 CalCo Admin Update
   BY KELLI SCOTT
Calhoun County Administrator/Controller
 Since July 6, Calhoun Coun-
ty government offices have been increasing access for in-person public visitors, recognizing the need to resume normal transac-
information for previously filed cases,
and attendance questions via email civil@ calhouncountymi.gov.” Residents should know that there is an eviction diversion program, which is being managed locally by Summit Pointe. For information on this diversion program, call (269) 966-1538. For a link to Calhoun County court sched- ules and YouTube channels, visit calhoun- countymi.gov/courtdockets.
While there’s a lot of uncertainty and trepidation surrounding COVID-19, we are continuing to see growth and devel- opment in Calhoun County this year.
The Land Bank Authority has resumed demolition of the Union Steel Building in Albion, which should be complete by Oc- tober. Progress is continually made on the Emmett Township Local Road Project— improving the residential, local roads that residents voted to restore in 2019. And
Ensuring Government Services
 tions and also the reality that our region and our community is not yet back to “normal.” We are committed to offering necessary services for our residents and our economy, and most importantly, we are committed to doing so in a safe way amidst COVID-19.
Administration, finance staff, depart- ment heads and the Board of Commis- sioners Budget Committee have begun developing the 2021 budget, which will
be the most challenging in a decade as we face huge revenue shortfalls due to closures early on in the pandemic, as well as the on- going resulting economic recession. Simple things that make sense during a pandemic are having an impact on our budget, such as reduced capacity at the jail and juvenile home and decreased services offered by
in the City of Battle Creek, the County is overseeing cleanup of an environmental- ly-contaminated piece of land, with the help of an EPA grant, that will allow for economic development downtown.
The Clerk and Register of Deeds Office continues to respond to requests for vital records, deeds, and various licenses. There seems to be evidence of a backlog created by stay at home orders, with Clerk/Register Kimberly Hinkley indicating that her staff recently received nearly 6,000 calls over 60 days. Court proceedings continue also, although many are held live via Zoom and streamed online. In late July, the State’s moratorium on evictions expired. The 10th District Court in Calhoun shared the following information: “Landlord-tenant cases will be set for Zoom, and inability to partici- pate will not suspend the case. The Court can make arrangements with individuals regarding attendance. The court is accept- ing new landlord-tenant cases, updated
the Public Health Department. There is some federal funding from the CARES
Act that will help local governments cover increased COVID-19 response expenses and we are hopeful that flexibility to also use state and federal funding to replace
lost revenues will be extended soon. The County Board and Administration have taken proactive measures already, including employee furloughs over the summer, and we will have to look at more significant ad- justments for next year to ensure a balanced budget during these uncertain times.
A priority for many of us, in addition to ensuring government services are maintained, is managing our COVID-19 response as part of a countywide Joint Op- erations Center (JOC), staffed in part by the City of Battle Creek. This FEMA-de- signed emergency response structure was activated in March to assist the Public Health Department with whatever needs arose. While the county’s numbers, as of late July, have relatively stabilized, the Unified Command Team, which leads the JOC, is monitoring the situation daily and is prepared to step up our response level in any way that’s necessary. Sign up for updates from the JOC, and receive County press releases as well, on the county’s website under “Stay Informed,” calhoun- countymi.gov.
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