Mount Clemens mayor highlights recreation at State of the City

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published November 9, 2022

 Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp delivered her 2022 State of the City speech on Oct. 14. The address showcased developments across departments.

Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp delivered her 2022 State of the City speech on Oct. 14. The address showcased developments across departments.

Screen capture taken from City of Mount Clemens broadcast


MOUNT CLEMENS — Changes to recreation programs in Mount Clemens held top billing as Mayor Laura Kropp delivered her 2022 State of the City address at the Cairns Community Center on Oct. 14.

The address showcased developments across departments based on advances made in accordance with the year’s strategic plan and budget. Recreation, like other departments highlighted, received expansions in an effort to undo funding cuts made in the past.

“In 2007 our recreation department was abandoned because of budget cuts,” Kropp said. “In many community surveys, it was clear that Mount Clemens was lacking in programming for all of our neighborhoods.”

While the social and health benefits of recreation programs are well documented and desirable, budget cuts and other economic pressures meant there was little money for these programs from the city proper. As such, Mount Clemens turned to organizations like TCB Youth Mentoring to fill in the gaps.

A key part of the recreation improvements is the hiring of Amanda Bowers as the recreation coordinator.

“Amanda comes to us from Chesterfield Township with the knowledge of building programs and collaborating with community partners to provide a well-rounded recreation program,” Kropp said.

Some new parks and recreation programs developed by Bowers as of early November include pickleball, adult tai chi and children’s Macomb Fitness Stars Stretch and Grow classes at the Wilson Gymnasium.

Another organization that contributed to the redevelopment of the recreation program was Advancing Macomb, which worked with the city and TCB to provide funding for programs, equipment and facilities. One key achievement of the collaboration between the city, TCB and Advancing Macomb was the reopening and resumption of activities at the Cairns Center, which was closed early in the pandemic.

“There were chains on the doors (and) barricades in the parking lot,” Diane Banks, Advancing Macomb executive director, said. “We weren’t able to use it for recreation. Even though we had the sports equipment, because the building was closed due to the lack of funding and operational partners, we weren’t able to have any of those programs or any of the equipment here at the center.”

Since the Cairns Center reopened in the summer of 2022, the center has hosted TCB events like basketball clinics and movie screenings while Advancing Macomb provides funding through grants.

In addition to the reopening of the Cairns Center, a play fountain was constructed at Shadyside Park.

Other highlights of the year included the Downtown Development Authority’s events and its ability to bring businesses into the city; city communications unveiling a new website and cable programs receiving high-definition upgrades; increased attendance at ice arena public sessions; and a new blight control program being rolled out by the community development department.

At the end of the address, Kropp turned her attention to the city’s future, with a focus on aging infrastructure. Though unmentioned, one such key infrastructure piece is the municipal water system. The City Commission is currently weighing options to either renovate the water system or switch over to the system serviced by the Great Lakes Water Authority.