Page 18 - Scene Magazine June 2022 4706
P. 18

  Local Interest
BY REBECCA FLEURY Battle Creek City Manager
   Goals are where we focus our effort – the results of our hard work.
It is fitting that the city’s priority based budgeting (PBB) goals are called Community Results. They show our reasons for existing as a local govern- ment, and are the results of our efforts as a full-service city.
Other interesting developments con- tinue, including new ideas for Lakeview Square Mall, like a new storage facility, and preparation for Horrocks to open there.
Thanks to one of our approved ARPA projects, we are thrilled to install air conditioning at Full Blast this year to better serve our staff, visitors, and summer campers during Michigan’s hot summers.
I would like to give this year’s city yearbook update in the context of our new Community Results, as determined by our City Commission, with feedback from our community and the city team.
Safety – We continue to work through a process of installing smart cameras in specific areas in and near downtown, like parking structures,
near City Hall, and in Monument Park. These cameras do not record constantly, but can turn on when they sense motion, and help police become alert to needs or potential problems in the camera loca- tions, during times when they are not on patrol there.
Governance – Our Equity Audit continues – our process with a consul- tant to make sure our services and prac- tices happen with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind. Our initial focus has been on human resources and hiring, as well as our Police Department. We look forward to sharing and working through the final report and recommendations.
A large, overarching project that touches all of these goals is the $30.5 million the city is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act, meant to help our city make up for lost revenues and service needs, and to help our com- munity succeed in the wake of challeng- es caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As staffing numbers and needs con- tinue to change in the realm of public safety, we have begun a study of the city’s EMS, fire, and police models and responses. The consulting firm Center for Public Safety Management will help us study the work of these agencies in Battle Creek, and share their thoughts and recommendations on the service delivery models that best meet the needs of Battle Creek in relation to ambu- lance, fire, and police responses.
We are engaging our community and neighbors more than ever before, and you have some new options to stay connected. One is our trial of a community newslet- ter printed quarterly in the Battle Creek Shopper News. In 2022, you can look for upcoming issues in July and October.
We held nine town hall meetings to gather community feedback, received 28 initial community requests, and totaled over $100 million in city pro- posed projects. Using our PBB goals, the official ARPA spending rules, and everyone’s feedback, we landed on
$10 million for lost city revenue, $7.8 million in city projects to make up for COVID impacts, and $8.1 million for community projects. Using a scoring rubric, the city commission approved 20 community projects to move forward with this funding.
We also launched Textedly, the infor- mation and alert notifications you can get by text, after opting in via text.
• Text BCALERTS to 844-673-7474
Economy – It has been wonderful to see economic movement across the community. While some stories have ended, many have begun and devel- oped, and we remain optimistic about what we see. Battle Creek Unlimited’s collaborative McCamly Hotel project has made visible progress; most recent- ly, the McCamly Plaza atrium has been mostly demolished, to make way for a new vision.
for local pandemic news and updates.
We have seen the Torti Taco Bar & Grill open downtown, and the façade
is up on the delayed New Holland Brewing. Our already unique BC Cargo shops have a new angle this year, and we will hold bi-weekly pop-up markets for our local entrepreneurs. We want to see them advance their businesses, but many are, understandably, hesitant as the pandemic continues to affect retail. We hope this will be a successful alternative.
Related, our Transit team is help- ing expand the conversation about the potential for a county-wide transit au- thority, to help facilitate the great need for mobility. Transit representatives are discussing the possibilities – including a recommended millage – with elected officials and others across Calhoun County.
These updates merely scratch the surface of the wonderful things happen- ing in your City of Battle Creek, and don’t include our other three Commu- nity Results: Utilities; Environment, Physical Appearance, and Commu- nity Design; and Arts and Culture. These have great updates and visibility in the community, and all of our goals will continue to do so.
Transportation and Mobility – Our year-long, BCGo pilot, providing on-demand public transportation across Calhoun County found great success – so much so, we know that demand was much higher than supply. As we work through what county-wide transpor- tation looks like next, we are excited
to continue this service with a grant extension for another year. Download the BCGo smartphone app or call (269) 966-3474 for a ride.
crime emergencies.
• Text BCNEWS to 844-673-7474 for
Recreation – We join the excite- ment of many local fans in welcoming the new Battle Creek Battle Jacks baseball team, who play on MCCU Field at C.O. Brown Stadium at our Bailey Park. We hope you will check out a game, and our great park and field facility, this summer.
Across our departments, with part- ners and collaborators, and with and for you, our neighbors, the City of Battle Creek provides the services you need. Please connect with us at battlecreekmi. gov,, and (269) 966-3311. You also can par- ticipate in one of our city commission meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at City Hall, or check
out some of our other public meetings streaming live on our YouTube channel.
for alerts like severe weather and
info like service changes, events, and
election news.
• Text BCCOVID19 to 844-673-7474

   16   17   18   19   20