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Posted: 02/06/13

County honors leaders
for shared services

Observer Staff Writer
      An early lesson learned is that sharing is caring, and even today communities are recognized for that practice.
       Eleven communities in Macomb County were honored by county government for their efforts to share resources as a way of keeping costs down while enhancing services for residents.
       During a ceremony on Jan. 31, County Executive Mark Hackel said county government credits the communities for making the decisions to share services, adding that recognizing them also gives the leaders a chance to see what their local and county neighbors are doing.
       "There's much more to southeast Michigan than just our individuality," he said. "We need to come together as a region so we can be much more competitive with other regions throughout this country and that's exactly what we're seeing."
       The Village of Romeo as well as Bruce and Washington townships received recognition for participating in Parks and Recreation as well as STAR Transportation. STAR is a transportation service for senior citizens and disabled residents.
       Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary said alongside Parks and Recreation and STAR, the local communities also share cable, sewer, libraries and administrative services.
       "We do a lot together people don't even realize we do," he said. "Behind the scenes, there's a lot of talk between the towns."
       In terms of future shared services, O'Leary said firefighting and finding ways to attract more businesses to the area could be examined.
       Bruce Township Supervisor Richard Cory said one of the important factors provided by shared services is the quality of life it provides to present and future residents.
       "We can show these new businesses that are coming out here. . . that we can sell a really nice way of life for their workers," he said. "They're going to get good schools, good Parks and Rec and a lot of opportunities."
       Clara Russell, director of Parks and Recreation, accepted the award on behalf of the Village of Romeo.
       The townships of Armada, Bruce, Lenox, Ray, Richmond and Washington were all recognized for their combined participation in the Macomb Agricultural Purchase of Development Rights Committee (MAPDRC).
       The program assists residents who wish to keep their property as farmlands by landowners selling the developmental rights to the state. An easement is placed on the property that prohibits the land from residential, commercial or industrial uses.
       Armada Township Supervisor John Paterek credited Ken DeCock, a farmer and member of MAPDRC, for his work in making the committee successful.
       "I would be remiss if I didn't include Ken in accepting this presentation to the township because he's definitely a very important part of the PDR committee and I'm proud of that," Paterek said.
       Ray Township Supervisor Charlie Bohm spoke highly of the efforts Hackel is putting forth to bolster agriculture, saying it is a major part of Macomb County.
       "We've had some meetings with (Hackel) and we're working toward getting agriculture toward the forefront and letting everybody in Macomb County know how nice it is to have roadside stands and whatever else it might be," Bohm said.
       Other communities that received recognition included the following:
       • Lenox and Richmond townships for joint emergency medical services
       • Eastpointe for leasing office space that serves as a satellite office for Macomb County
       • Centerline for cross-training Department of Public Works employees as firefighters
       • New Baltimore and Chesterfield Township for an integrated public safety records management system.

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Retrieved 7/28/2015 at 4:21:30 AM.
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