Mayor outlines Sterling successes in city address

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 11, 2017

File photo

Sterling Heights earned positive marks on its progress report when Mayor Michael Taylor gave the second annual State of the City address Sept. 29 at the Macedonian Cultural Center in Sterling Heights.

In his address, Taylor framed the city’s happenings about innovation, investment and progress.

“I would put Sterling Heights up against any other city in the country when you look at our workforce, when you look at our businesses, when you look at our defense contractors,” he said. “As I said, Sterling Heights is an innovative city, and it’s a city on the rise.”

In terms of developmental progress, he said there are more than 1,500 new residential units planned for the city, which will put the city in a position to overtake Warren as the state’s third-most-populous city.

He talked about industrial investments occurring at the Sterling Innovation District at Sterling Enterprise Park, as well as at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.

“Our industrial corridor is an economic catalyst that supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout the region, and its importance to the state and country really cannot be overstated.”

Taylor also talked about the Police Department and its new programming, such as the Community Outreach and Engagement program, in which liaison officers are assigned districts to represent. The Police Department has hired 29 new officers since the start of 2016, and it recently promoted from within to make Dale Dwojakowski the new police chief, the mayor added.

“I’m very excited about his leadership, but his leadership will be put to the test very early as the department experiences unprecedented turnover throughout its ranks,” Taylor said.

The Fire Department was also praised during the address, and Taylor said it will be rolling out a new cost-neutral advanced life support transport service starting Nov. 1.

Taylor recounted past street repairs conducted through the Safe Streets Millage, as well as completed improvements to Dodge Park Road and Van Dyke Avenue. He said work is progressing on $55 million in road investments. He also discussed ongoing Michigan Department of Transportation roadwork on M-59, which will soon see unique monument markers and enhanced landscaping.

The city is looking forward to pursuing funding for roadwork on Mound Road from Interstate 696 to M-59. He talked about the corridor’s economic impact on the auto, defense and manufacturing industries.

“The project will transform Mound into a roadway that doesn’t just get you from point A to point B — it will be a transformational project,” he said. “It will serve as an example … as to how we can use our roadways to fully integrate technology, aesthetically pleasing design, pedestrian-friendly pathways, (and) unique and distinctive elements that will support the surrounding businesses and residents.”

Next year will bring the events surrounding the city’s 50th anniversary, and it will roll out improvements from the $45 million Recreating Recreation initiative, Taylor said. For instance, the new Community Center will start construction, and the farmers market pavilion will be built, he explained.

He closed by praising the private sector’s investment in the community and linking it to the city’s and the public’s own choices to invest.

“Progress is not random, and it isn’t the result of a vision. It’s a result of investment, planning and hard work — hard work from every stakeholder in the community,” he said.

“Our progress is the product of wise investment: investing in our community, investing in our public safety, investing in our infrastructure.”

Before Taylor spoke, Melanie Davis, president and CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, praised the success of a recent Food Truck Rally at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights, as well as the summer Sterlingfest Art and Music Fair.

“Sterlingfest was another huge success this year, rivaling attendance records from the past, and surprising and delighting our community with enhanced activities and a major headline act in Bret Michaels,” Davis said. “I think maybe my favorite part of the whole weekend was on Saturday night on the stage looking out at the crowd and seeing hundreds and hundreds of people wearing black bandanas.”

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