Mount Clemens selects new fire chief

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published November 20, 2023

 Danny Reynolds is the new chief of  the Mount Clemens Fire Department. He begins his post on Nov. 17.

Danny Reynolds is the new chief of the Mount Clemens Fire Department. He begins his post on Nov. 17.

Photo provided by Gregg Shipman


MOUNT CLEMENS — Gregg Shipman has worn the titles of city manager and chief of the Mount Clemens Fire Department for over a year, but his time as the fire chief has now come to an end.

The Mount Clemens City Commission voted to hire Danny Reynolds as the new chief at its Nov. 6 meeting, giving the city’s Fire Department its first dedicated leadership since Shipman became interim city manager in June 2022 and hired into the role full-time in June 2023.

“It will definitely take a lot of the burden off of the city manager’s office,” Shipman said. “Trying to do both positions really is too much.”

Luckily for Mount Clemens, the hiring of Reynolds means one fire service veteran will be replaced by another.

“He’s got 27 years in the fire service, six of those as fire chief,” Shipman said. “He had been the fire chief in Taylor. He was also the fire chief in Armada. He ran the Macomb Community College fire training program and he also worked for the state Bureau of Fire Services. He was working directly for the state fire marshal as the regional training coordinator for Wayne County.”

Shipman believes Reynolds will be the first Mount Clemens Fire Department chief to come from outside the department.

“He’s got a long history in the fire service and experience in a lot of different areas, and he knows our department very well,” Shipman said. “He knows the people, and I think having someone come in from the outside with that kind of experience will actually be a benefit in a lot of situations. I think Dan’s going to do a great job for us.”

Reynolds will be paid a salary of $75,000 and begins serving on Monday, Nov. 27.

“The commission was impressed with the amount of experience and knowledge Reynolds brings to the table, and we’re excited for him to bring a different perspective to the fire station,” said Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp.


GLWA connection amendments
On Nov. 6, commissioners also approved amendments to Fishbeck Engineering’s contract for designing the city’s connection to the Great Lakes Water Authority’s system. The amendments change the billing method from an hourly rate to a percentage of the final project.

The amendment is the latest development in the city’s project to join the GLWA system. Administrative steps began in December 2022, and the city is working to meet a timeline set by the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund low-interest loan terms.

“We have to obtain permits from (the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) in January 2024. We have to go out to bid by the end of April 2024, and then we expect to begin construction in September 2024,” Shipman said. “It’s a pretty steep schedule that the DWSRF has. This is a really big project and we’ve got a very narrow window as far as the timeline, but it looks like we’re on schedule and we should be able to meet all of the deadlines without any issues at this point.”

As the work of connecting to the GLWA system goes on, the city will remain on its own water system and keep its facilities for at least six months after the connections are made. Shipman said he will make a recommendation to city commissioners to sell the Harrison Township-based water filtration plant’s land once the building is demolished.


Juror free parking
City commissioners also approved an extension of the plan allowing county court jury members free parking in the city’s lots to Jan. 1, 2024. Approved as a three-month trial in June to encourage patronage of downtown businesses by jurors, the extension intends to boost holiday shopping traffic while the city negotiates a cost-sharing agreement with Macomb County to maintain the program indefinitely.

“We know that it definitely has to help some of the businesses downtown. It’s tough to gauge exactly to what level that it’s helping, and it’s also tough to gauge exactly how much revenue the city is losing by offering free parking,” Shipman said. “We know it costs us some money and we know it’s helping.”

From Nov. 17 to Jan. 1, all Mount Clemens visitors can experience free parking after 3 p.m.