‘Imagine that’

Supervisor discusses growth in address

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 5, 2017

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Speaking in front of a crowd of business leaders and township and county government officials inside a movie theatre at Emagine Macomb, Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn gave her annual “State of the Township” address March 31.

While touching on several events that occurred over the past year, Dunn frequently used the phrase “Imagine that” to showcase the township’s successes and growth.

Before talking about events of the past year, Dunn spoke about the theatre and its impact in the township.

“It was the round peg in the round hole, the right piece of the puzzle,” Dunn said of the theatre’s opening in 2015. Since then, Dunn said Emagine Macomb has become the most attended theatre of the Emagine chain.

Dunn highlighted the township’s parks and recreation center early in her speech as well, stating that it now has 4,604 members, 7,291 people involved in some type of class, and 16,493 people who attended a parks and rec event over the past year.

In creating a more efficient township website, Dunn highlighted the township’s move to BS&A software to have each township department linked with one software system.

Dunn then mentioned that the township saw a reduction of $64,300 in fees for employment retirement plans, thereby putting more money in the pockets of township workers.

Dunn pointed to the hiring of two inspectors for mechanical and plumbing work was pointed to by Dunn as one reason the township was about to issue 516 new single-family housing and condominium permits in 2016. Macomb Township topped the number of permits in Michigan last year, Dunn said, edging out Canton Township by six homes.

In public safety, Dunn highlighted Deputy Fire Chief Adam Munro for hosting flashover training for 246 firefighters from 10 nearby communities.

She also mentioned the hiring of additional sheriff’s deputies, and the impact they have made in the community. She presented data that showed, of the 2,849 calls placed to the Sheriff’s Office over the past year, 1,125 were traffic calls. That number was up about 20 percent from the year prior.

“As I said last year, watch out. They’re in places I’ve never seen anyone before,” Dunn said of the deputies.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham also spoke during the event and said more deputies will be necessary as the township grows.
For culture, Dunn touched on the Midwest Sculpture Initiative that placed eight sculptures throughout the township.

“Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, our residents have a little bit of culture in their own community for a whole year. We have committed to another exhibit for 2017,” Dunn said.

In business, Dunn highlighted the recent remodeling of the Kroger store at 21 Mile and Card roads, which she said does more grocery sale volume than any other Kroger in Michigan.

Deputy County Executive Pam Lavers discussed business investment in the township by Majestic Industries, which spent $2.1 million to create 25 jobs, and Macomb Smoked Meats, which invested $2.8 million and created 70 jobs.

Lavers added that the township has 1,467 businesses that employ 14,309 workers.

For population, the township now has 86,951 residents, an increase of more than 7,000 since 2010. The township has had 2,466 new single-family units constructed in that time, Lavers said.

In looking ahead to the future, Dunn highlighted road work on 23 Mile Road, which will be widened from Romeo Plank to Fairchild Road over the next couple of years. That will cause utilities to be moved so that they won’t be under the new road. A new public safety building will be constructed to replace Fire Station No. 1 and a sheriff’s substation near Romeo Plank and 23 Mile.

“Everything I’ve talked about today has been done or is being done for the health, safety and welfare of our residents, to make this community a desirable place to live, work and play,” Dunn said. “No one can do this alone. It takes a lot of people and a lot of work.”

Suburban Ice Macomb named Business of the Year
During her address, Dunn named Suburban Ice Macomb as the township’s “Business of the Year.”

Suburban opened its Macomb location in 2006, and it has other locations in Rochester and Royal Oak.

“At the time of thinking about expanding, we had our facility in Rochester and we were doing well, but there’s nothing here for hockey. The next stop is Port Huron,” said Amaan Archer, GM for Suburban. “The economy was going well at the time. Building was coming out here, so Macomb was picked with the thought of homes being eventually built. We’re glad to see homes being built in the area.”

The facility is the home rink for Rochester College,  Eisenhower High School, Utica High and Romeo High. It also offers ice programs for children as young as 3, a figure skating club, youth hockey programs, adult leagues and daily public open skates.

“We give more people an opportunity to skate. We want to see as many rinks in the area (as possible), whether we operate them or not. It gives exposure to people,” Archer said. “The more people that skate will lead to having more people in the building.”

“Our staff is so proud. They work really hard on bringing programs out and making sure our customers our happy.”

Suburban has a staff of about 60 employees. It has roughly 400 youth members in its hockey club, and another 400 participants in its adult leagues.

Suburban will be hosting a national junior girl’s hockey tournament in early April. It will feature 70 teams, and games will also be played in Rochester, Royal Oak and Troy.

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