Speaking from the Emerald Theater, Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp delivered her first State of the City address Nov. 13.

Speaking from the Emerald Theater, Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp delivered her first State of the City address Nov. 13.

Photo by Deb Jacques

‘We want to be the uptown of Macomb County’

Mount Clemens mayor provides State of the City

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published November 17, 2020


MOUNT CLEMENS — While the COVID-19 pandemic has been the main talking point of 2020, it wasn’t the only topic brought up at the Mount Clemens State of the City Nov. 13 at the Emerald Theater.

There, Mayor Laura Kropp gave her first State of the City address, which lasted about 40 minutes. Folks could also watch the address via Zoom.

Points of emphasis in the address included infrastructure, strategic planning, firefighting, economic development, and parks and recreation.

“We’re trying to make sure Mount Clemens is planning for the future, instead of being reactive,” she said. “We began the strategic planning process this summer and came up with a new mission and vision, and six specific goals with outcomes.”

Kropp said while it’s important to recognize and value the city’s history, it must support and plan for a prosperous Mount Clemens.

Kropp took the audience on a trip looking back on the last 12 months and peeking at the direction the city is headed toward.

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Kropp said there was no playbook for how to handle the city’s response to it.

“March and April brought about many decisions that needed to be made and sometimes with few details or any data,” she said.

She thanked Gregg Shipman, Mount Clemens fire captain, who wrote the city’s emergency management plan. Prior to the pandemic, existing plans didn’t address a pandemic.

“We are proud that not one Mount Clemens business closed due to COVID,” Kropp said.

In talking about infrastructure, the mayor indicated work progressed on the installation of custom-built ozone machines, used to add ozone to water, removing distinct taste like algae.

Other 2020 construction projects included the Mount Clemens sidewalk program.

In 2021, Kropp said there will be an investment of almost $750,000 to improve city sidewalks.

When speaking of the fire department, Kropp said it has worked short staffed for almost two years. Three firefighters were added last month to the department.

This year, Shipman obtained three grants for equipment — two assistance to firefighter grants and one firehouse grant for a battery-operated jaws of life equipment.  

What gives Kropp the most optimism for the city’s future is all the new businesses moving in.

Neway Creative, a coworking and community development space, was one business that opened in the city in 2020.

“I think affordability is a big factor,” she said. “It’s a scary time to open businesses, and I think people can take a leap of faith and do so in a manner that’s a little more affordable.”

Kropp announced that New Age Cafe, an Asian cuisine business in Clinton Township, will relocate to North Main Street in Mount Clemens next year under the name New Age Noodle.

“It is on all of us to change the outside negative perception of Mount Clemens to one that is positive,” Kropp said. “We want to be the uptown of Macomb County, a community that is rich in culture, great food and many opportunities for entertainment.”

She added that in the future, instead of going to places like downtown Detroit, or a downtown area in Oakland County, folks instead will think of visiting Mount Clemens.

When it comes to diversity, Kropp said not everyone has the same background or has the same experiences. She challenged the community in the next year to think outside of their own perspectives and to examine other viewpoints.