The pandemic created challenges in all aspects of our lives. Some greater than others. Many had major losses to endure, while others were able to find new ways to meet the challenges. For your city government, we faced obstacles as well, but I am proud to say that we achieved many more accomplishments. Below are some of the major accomplishments that I feel is important to recognize.
While many areas of our government went “remote”, our public safety folks did not. They were there each day on the front lines, helping our citizens during some of the most challenging times of their lives. Just as they do every single day. Some of the accomplishments in 2021 were:
- Replacement of a 30-year-old fire truck.
- Continued monthly fire department training with Eaton Rapids Township.
- We replaced interior and exterior lighting at the public safety building with LED lights-cutting down on the costs to operate the building.
- Computers in the fire station were updated allowing our fire department to operate with more modern and up to date equipment.
- Police Department welcomed Officer Malory Southward to the department.
- Successful prosecution of guilty or no-contest pleas for the perpetrators involved in the shooting at one of our officers in 2020.
- Our Police Department and Fire Department helped welcome back safely to the community the 4th of July celebration, which was sorely missed in 2020. This team works very hard to make this celebration safe for all who attend, and they did a great job.
- Actions taken by our officers on December 15th to rescue the victim involved in a shooting incident and render first aid in a timely manner.
Department of Public Works:
These folks worked day and night during the pandemic to make sure the city services you rely on never miss a beat. Some extra accomplishments include:
- Major street replacement on State Street, Greyhound Drive, Inverness and Brook Street. These also included many new utility lines.
- Purchased a new Chipper
- Purchased a new Vactor Truck
- Assisted with the new Riverwalk construction & Island Repairs
- Assisted in the repair and replacement of several areas of sidewalk
- Assisted with the roof replacement at the Mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery
- Replaced the roof at the Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Numerous water line replacements, and continuous streetlight replacements to LED
Our building officials are always looking for ways to help our residents, whether it’s helping with a permit for a new garage or fence, to finding ways to help local developers with larger projects. A few of their key accomplishments were:
- Issued 410 permits, this includes building, zoning, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and ROW.
- Rental inspections, 88 buildings – 438 apartments
- Property maintenance, issued 195 violations
- Annexation of 60 plus acres to the north boundary of the city
- Assisted in creating 5 marijuana ordinances
- Working with 4 developers on developments proposed in the city
Quality of Life:
The Quality of Life department worked on several different grants and initiatives that helped our community, including:
- The city received an approximately 3-million-dollar Community Development Block Grant that was used to make major repairs and replacements to G.A.R Island Park. This included repairs to the island walls, a new pedestrian bridge on the east side of the park, and brand-new River Walk on the west side of the park, that extends from the Hamlin Park entrance north to Mill Pointe Park (Outdoor Recreation Center) and will soon have new playground equipment. Many city departments and staff were instrumental in making this happen.
- Received $35,000 from MSHDA to assist 4 homeowners with much needed infrastructure repairs to their homes, making them safer for years to come.
- Completed another round of successful Residential Curbside grants that assisted 11 homeowners with non-critical repairs to the exterior of their homes.
- Implemented the first year of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge to bring awareness to the public regarding the conservation of the Monarch Butterflies, and the importance of creating a habitat that is conducive to their continued survival. This included creating awareness through education, and planting of Milkweed seeds in various locations, as well as encouraging the community to plant milkweed seeds at their own homes.
- Hosted our first annual Grand River Color Tour Triathlon where 35 athletes competed in a kayak, cycle and run event and were blasted with Holi color at the finish line.
- Brought back the popular movies and concerts in the park during the summer.
Administration: (City Hall)
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to Clerk Laura Boomer and Treasurer Marrie Jo Carr for the job they did as Interim-City Managers; they didn’t flinch when asked if this was something they could take on. They jumped in and did the job and for that we are all very grateful.
We have many employees who work behind the scenes every day. They don’t always get the recognition they deserve but I want to personally thank ALL City of Eaton Rapids employees who work for the PEOPLE of Eaton Rapids. It’s not always an easy task and sometimes we fail. But getting back up each day and trying again, is what makes the difference and if you can make the difference in people’s lives, then you should be proud of what you do every day.
As always, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or you’d like to learn more about getting involved in our wonderful city. Feel free to also join us at our Council Meetings. We meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, both at 5pm and 7pm. We’d love to see you!