Page 20 - Scene Magazine 46-01 January 2021
P. 20

                                     CalCo Admin Update
BY KELLI SCOTT
Calhoun County Administrator/Controller
    engage with the community.
The Calhoun County Parks and
Postponing events was also this year’s story for the Calhoun County Recycling Program, which had to cancel the majority of its 2020 collection events to mitigate the spread of the virus.
To ensure residential access to recy- cling continued, we created a website form that can be used to request a free recycling pass for the C&C Landfill in Convis Township. This was our solution to ensure recycling options even when the County’s Marshall Recycling Center was closed due to limited staffing.
Recreation Department received a grant of just under $200,000 from the Mich- igan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which will fund the reconstruction of
the entrance to Kimball Pines and its bathrooms, as well as development of
an accessible trail, improved parking, and more over the next two years. The grant funds will supplement local funds including the allocation of some of the County’s newly-approved parks millage, for a total investment of over $388,000 into Kimball Pines. The new millage will also provide new opportunities for im- provements to municipal parks county- wide.
The County’s Veterans Affairs Office played an active role in helping Veterans who were negatively affected by the pandemic. With money from the state’s Veteran fund, food vouchers for Meijer were provided to those who established need. And as always, the Veterans Af- fairs Committee approved applications for emergency aid, which was particular- ly critical during the pandemic.
This isn’t the only way Community Development is working closer with townships in 2020. In December 2020, Calhoun County signed a shared services agreement with Pennfield Township
This year, with older adults at greater risk during the pandemic, Calhoun County Senior Services had to cancel multiple events, including its annual Centenarian luncheon, to avoid gather- ing. Instead, with the help of local elect- ed officials, they delivered flowers to each person individually. When it came time for Medicare Counseling for local seniors, this service was offered over the phone, rather than bringing each person into the county building. With so much typical programming cancelled this year, Senior Services sponsored 500 entrances
This year, Veterans Affairs also began digitizing its files, which will provide quicker access and service for vVeter- ans who come in. This effort began in September, and at this point the staff
to assist with the township’s planning and zoning operations. With anticipated partnerships with additional townships in the future, this cooperation has the potential to improve and add consistency to planning and zoning countywide.
Calhoun Coun- ty’s Community Development Of- fice, under the lead- ership of Director Jen Bomba, has been busy in 2020, finding new and innovative ways to
to the Marshall Merry Mile, located at Calhoun County Fairgrounds, as a safe and fun activity for seniors during the holiday season.
through strategic planning that it would like to better engage with any township that had fewer than 10% of seniors participating in senior millage program- ming. According to its 2019 Annual Report, those townships included Con- vis, Fredonia, Lee, Leroy, and Pennfield Townships. With this information, Senior Services Manager Helen Guzzo led conversations between township officials and community service providers about how seniors might be better served in these areas, and many ideas emerged. For example, when it’s safe to gather again, Senior Health Partners anticipates piloting exercise and meal sites using Leroy Township’s Community Hall.
Engaging With Calhoun County in 2020
has digitized records for 5,819 veterans who live in Calhoun County, with over 11,076 individual documents. Director Aaron Edlefson says that while they’re happy with the progress, “We’ve only made a small dent in the number of doc- uments that we have.”
Calhoun County’s Geographic In- formation Systems (GIS) staff continue to maintain maps and data that are critical to community engagement and understanding. The Calhoun County COVID-19 Dashboard is a primary source of pandemic information for the media and everyday public, providing daily updates about cumulative positive cases, deaths, total hospitalizations,
and more. Additionally, in these winter months, residents are encouraged to bookmark Calhoun County’s Snowplow Tracker, which tracks and displays where plows have been in the county through- out the day. These maps can be found at calhouncountymi.gov/gis.
Earlier this year, the Senior Mill- age Allocation Committee determined
  QUALITY SERVICE FOR OVER 60 YEARS
 The County has come a long way in developing synergies between offices within our Community Development Office, all of which strive to serve our residents and our businesses in ways that minimize duplication of services and stretch taxpayer dollars. We hope, as a result, the community notices great new things emerging during 2021 as we continue to build a better county through responsive leadership.
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