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Calhoun County government officials review 2023's achievements and the challenges ahead

Three of the presenters sit at a white fold out table, the first wears a thick red cloth coat with a black and white striped undershirt, the second is in a black and white dress with a similar colored striped skirt, the last wears a black suit coat with a gray undershirt. Various water bottles and thermoses are strewn about on the table.
Michael Symonds
From left to right, Kelli Scott, Rebecca Fleury, and Derek Perry answer questions during the Q&A portion of the event.

Springfield, Marshall, Albion and Battle Creek city leaders joined their colleagues in the Calhoun County government Friday for a “State of the Community” event.

Government leaders from across Calhoun County met in Battle Creek Friday. They gave a public update on their accomplishments over the last year.

Several cities highlighted infrastructure projects. One project involved all attendees: the Transportation Authority of Calhoun County, or TACC, formed last year.

TACC hopes to create a county-wide transit system, but the county’s smaller municipalities have opted out.

Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury said she hopes that can still change.

“What we have to do is show the value of the Transportation Authority and what it can do. And in some instances, it's going to be a bit bumpy,” Fleury said.

Battle Creek resident Mike Wyszynski attended the event.

He said the presentation on the opioid settlement funds the county will receive stood out.

He said he’s glad the county will acquire about $11 million to help fix damage created by the opioid crisis but wished it had received more.

"I don't know if that's represents a big number. For the impact that opioids have created, it seems, doesn't even seem like a lot of money to me,” Wyszynski said.

Another key focus of the event was Marshall’s Ford EV battery factory, which the company plans to open in 2026, and which was a point of pride at the State of the Community.

Fleury said the benefits won’t be exclusive to Marshall.    

“The Ford BlueOval plant really unified the governments," she said.
"We each want them in our town, we want those employees to live in Calhoun County period, in any one of our towns. And that's a win.”

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.