Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said his biggest plan for the recreation center in 2019 is for it to remain current on all trends and programs, and adapt as the industry is constantly changing.

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said his biggest plan for the recreation center in 2019 is for it to remain current on all trends and programs, and adapt as the industry is constantly changing.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Macomb Township officials share New Year’s resolutions

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 8, 2019

 Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said that getting new trustee Kathy Smith acclimated to being on the Board of Trustees is her first order of business in 2019.

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said that getting new trustee Kathy Smith acclimated to being on the Board of Trustees is her first order of business in 2019.

File photo by Deb Jacques

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — For many, New Year’s resolutions may include eating healthier, exercising more and saving more money.

For leaders in Macomb Township, that means adding more parkland and continued sidewalk construction.

We asked the township supervisor, engineer, and parks and recreation director what their hopes are for 2019.

 

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn
“We have a new (trustee, Kathy Smith,) on board and the first goal is to get her acclimated and make sure she is up to speed on what her duties are,” Dunn said.

Smith was administered the oath of office at the board’s Dec. 19 meeting.

One resolution that Dunn made a few years ago is that, once ground is broken at the future site of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, she will be there every day, monitoring the situation. Construction is set to begin this spring.

When asked what she is most proud of from 2018, Dunn said, “We constantly get compliments on both of the township buildings and rightfully so because they are beautiful buildings.”

She added that the township receives constant praise for the recreation center.

“It is one of the best in the tri-county area, if not the whole state. It is very well-attended,” she said.

A main project that the township didn’t get to in 2018 that Dunn hopes will be accomplished this year is securing more parkland.

“We do have one parcel on 24 and Foss and we’re going to step our efforts up there,” she said.

Dunn said that road improvements are near the top of the to-do list for 2019.

She cited an agreement with the Macomb County Department of Roads for the extension of Garfield Road from 22 Mile to 25 Mile roads.

“We’re really looking forward to that,” Dunn said.    

 

Macomb Township Engineer Jim Van Tiflin
“Early this year, we’ll be finishing our master plan for our sidewalk program,” he said. “Our 2017 program will start construction, then we’ve got another where design and ease of acquisition has started.”

Continuing the sidewalk gap closure program is a major task the engineering department is looking forward to.

In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved a pathway/sidewalk gap closure plan. It is a 10-year program that proposes to spend approximately $1 million dollars a year to acquire the necessary rights-of-way and construct sidewalks/pathways to close gaps in the system. Construction began in the spring of 2017.

Van Tiflin is most proud of the sidewalk work that’s been done.

“Also, a major connection was made across the middle branch of the Clinton River,” he said. “At Waldenburg Park, both of the pedestrian bridges were completed, so now we have connection essentially from Garfield to Card roads along 21 Mile Road.”

Another project from 2018 was the completion of the sanitary sewer system map. The project was funded thanks to the state’s  Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Grant program, and done in cooperation with the water and sewer department.

“We’ve done a lot of video inspection of the sewer system and located all the manholes in the system,” Van Tiflin said.

A similar project continues this year with the water main system.

What Van Tiflin hopes to accomplish this year is updating engineering standards and ordinances.

 

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro
“This year is the 15th year of operation and it will be a big year for the rec center,” DiCaro said.

In December, a MotionCage Package 5 strength equipment machine was added, which DiCaro said is receiving great reviews.

His biggest plan for the center is for it to remain current on all trends and programs, and adapt as the industry is constantly changing. One way of doing that is replacing all cardio equipment in July.

What DiCaro is most proud of from 2018 was that the center’s rates have not changed since it opened in 2004.

“We are always looking to expand our parks,” he said. “We will be installing new pickleball courts behind Fire Station No. 2 on 21 Mile Road sometime this spring or summer. We are currently looking at a number of sites for park development. We will probably proceed with a park at 24 and Foss in the future. The possible amenities include a dog park, a splash pad, picnic pavilions for rent, a playscape and tennis courts. We clearly need more parkland for our community.”

What he looks forward to most in the new year is offering the most comprehensive parks and recreation department to residents.

“We will continue to offer a safe, clean, state-of-the-art recreation center for our patrons. Our programs and special events are offered to young and old, with the purpose of building community,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our department and our accomplishments and hope our residents are too.”