Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director  Sal DiCaro said what he learned from 2020 is to live life to the fullest and he looks forward to returning to a sense of normalcy in 2021.

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro said what he learned from 2020 is to live life to the fullest and he looks forward to returning to a sense of normalcy in 2021.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Welcoming in the new year

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 12, 2021


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — 2020 is gone, never to return again.

For many, that’s welcoming news and a chance to look ahead to the new year.

A couple Macomb Township officials spoke with C & G Newspapers in expressing their goals for 2021.

Macomb Township Supervisor Frank Viviano said 2020 was certainly unprecedented.

“It was eye opening to what people are willing to tolerate and not tolerate regarding their freedoms,” he said. “It seems to have increased the divide in our country and local community, which is concerning.”

In 2021, Viviano wants to see folks look at what unites them, rather than what divides.

“Within our township government, I think we’re much more united now than we have been in probably the last decade,” Viviano said.

He mentioned that “building something new” is what he looks forward to most in 2021, his first full year as supervisor.

“We’ve had many years of dysfunction, which has been very public with arrests and infighting,” he said. “The last six weeks have been great as far as I’m concerned. I think our 2021 looks very bright.”

Viviano said construction on the new public safety building on 23 Mile Road, east of Romeo Plank Road, is close to being complete.

The hope was to be open by the end of January. Now, Viviano said it looks like early March.

In the planning department, Director Josh Bocks said the biggest item that will be addressed is updating the township Master Plan.

“We’ve been working on that now for about six months and the goal is to have that finalized and adopted by the board in early summer,” he said.

Additionally, he said the township is interested in connecting roadways. One example being Garfield Road at 22 Mile Road. The plan is to begin Phase 1 of the northward extension in the summer. The 3-mile extension is estimated to be completed by 2023.

What Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro learned from 2020 is how rapidly situations can change.

“You need to be prepared for almost any situation,” he said. “That’s personally and professionally. There’s so many things we planned and put effort into and of course, all of the change.”

DiCaro mentioned that in his department, staff tried to adapt and adjust to do whatever it could.

“We learned that it can happen at any time,” he said. “I also learned to live life to the fullest. You have no idea what is going to happen and what lies ahead.”

What he looks forward to most in 2021 is to be able to return to a sense of normalcy.

“Many programs and special events still went off, but they were different than in the past,” DiCaro said. “People expect a certain high quality from our department, and I still think they came through. We are prepared for this year, no matter what lies ahead.”

If conditions return to normal, DiCaro said, rest assured, the department will offer an Easter event, Tons O’ Trucks and a Halloween event.

Events like the summer concert series, Tons O’ Trucks and Rosco’s Picnic Palooza were canceled in 2020.

“A lot of people liked our outdoor Halloween event better than they liked our indoor one, so there are things we have to decide on as a department to do what’s best,” DiCaro said. “Maybe it could be outdoors in the future.”

When asked what the best part of 2020 being over with, he said that with the COVID-19 vaccine, hope is on the horizon and folks are looking forward to what the possibilities are in 2021.  

A project that was on hold due to the pandemic was the proposed Whitney Park in the area of 24 Mile and Foss roads. Pre-pandemic, DiCaro believed it could open by fall of 2021 or spring of 2022.

Regarding fitness classes, he said virtual classes have been pushed back two weeks, in hopes that COVID-19 cases may decrease.