Green Infrastructure: What A Beautiful Idea!

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) hosted the Summer Quarterly Meeting of the Beautification Council of Southeastern Michigan (BCSEM) last week.  Councilwoman Cheryl Verbeke was on hand to welcome everyone and share some of the exciting things happening in Auburn Hills.

Representatives from 18 different communities attended to learn about the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)’s new Green Infrastructure Vision for the region.  Amy Mangus, Leader of SEMCOG’s Plan Implementation Team gave an enlightening presentation about the importance of green infrastructure.

Amy Mangus presents to the group on the topic of Green Infrastructure

Ms. Mangus explained that most of us think of our roads, electric, gas, water, and sewer networks when the term infrastructure is used.   These assets, often referred to as “grey” infrastructure, help a municipality function.  However, closely tied to grey infrastructure is a network of “green” infrastructure which includes parks, wetlands, and trees.  These assets are also very important to the economic health and vitality of the region.  Each community has a role to play in planning for, preserving, and enhancing these resources.  SEMCOG’s vision helps to outline a game plan for the future.

Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills

Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills

It was an excellent meeting and the BAC was happy to be able to host it right here in the City of Auburn Hills.

 

Noah’s Event Center In The Works

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

There’s a flood of excitement about this project!

We are pleased to report that Noah’s has submitted a proposal to the City of Auburn Hills to build a 10,300 sq. ft. multi-purpose event and conference center at the southwest corner of North Squirrel Road and Cross Creek Parkway.   The $4 million, state-of-the-art facility will be used for corporate training, small conferences, weddings, and receptions.

Noah's anticipates breaking ground in September with opening expected to occur sometime in April 2015.

Noah’s anticipates breaking ground in September with opening expected to occur sometime in April 2015.

Founded in Utah in 1953, Noah’s currently operates seven facilities with locations in Arizona, Colorado, and Texas.  The company plans to open 15 additional facilities across the United States by the end of Y2015.  This will their first event center in Michigan.

Noah's is planned in the area blocked in yellow.  The site is across the street from the City's municipal campus

Noah’s is planned in the area blocked in yellow. The site is across the street from the City’s municipal campus

Noah’s is designed to only accommodate one event at a time and with its main focus to serve the business community.  Corporate activities/events (e.g., training, expos, and team building) are expected to be held during the week with weddings and receptions anticipated to take place during the weekends.

Site Plan for Noah's

Site Plan for Noah’s

The public hearing for this proposal is scheduled to be held by the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  A final decision on the project is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, July 14th.

E7 Solutions Officially Welcomed to Downtown Auburn Hills

Posted by – Darren Darge, Senior Code Enforcement Officer

Last night, we had the honor and pleasure of joining Mayor Kevin McDaniel, Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Kittle, and several others at the E7 Solutions ribbon cutting ceremony.  It’s official, E7 Solutions is now part of the City’s beautiful and expanding Downtown area.

Ribbon Cutting held yesterday at E7 Soultions

Ribbon Cutting held yesterday at E7 Soultions

E7 Solutions’ CEO and founder, Edmond Delude, is a system engineer and management professional with over 15 years of program management, process development, and release management experience for software applications.

Since 2008, he has leveraged both his skills and relationships to establish a full-service consulting firm which also includes data and project management. We met with Edmond and his team last night and their Downtown Auburn Hills office is really something to see.  The décor brings both hi-tech and style to our Downtown along with a great team of smart, innovated, and professional people.

Edmond is a personal friend of mine and I wanted to say congratulations and welcome to Auburn Hills.  The City is honored and excited to have you.

Fish Tales

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

In celebration of River Day,  71 youthful fishing enthusiast participated the 11th Annual Auburn Hills Fishing Derby held at Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills this past Saturday.

boy

There were plenty of fish caught and even more family memories made during the perfect sun filled day.

crowd

Volunteers from Trout Unlimited Vanguard Chapter were on hand to provide assistance to anyone who might have hooked into one of the 650 rainbow trout released in the river for the derby.  Thanks to Bass Pro Shop, the Derby’s main sponsor, every kid walked away with a raffle prize.

sponsors

To view pictures of the event please visit the Auburn Hills Facebook Page.  https://www.facebook.com/CityofAuburnHills

Meet The Green Hornet’s Kato

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

A couple years ago I picked up the nickname “The Green Hornet” because of my work as the code enforcement officer in charge of the City’s Weed Abatement Program.  Well, I’d like to introduce my trusted sidekick … my “Kato” as it were.

Kato

He is Norm Elam, the founder and owner of Elam Service Group out of Pontiac.  Norm has been cutting Auburn Hills’ large vacant parcels for several years and has done an excellent job.  So when his company put in the best bid for residential cutting, we were very happy to grant him the contract.

So if you see his smiling face around town this summer (unless he’s wearing his dust mask) give him a wave and know that he’s doing a great job for our town.

“Let’s roll, Kato.”

Perennial Exchange This Saturday!

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Perennial Exchange is scheduled, rain or shine, this coming Saturday, May 17th.  Auburn Hills residents and our friends from surrounding communities will meet from 11am to 1pm at River Woods Park to participate in this annual springtime event.

PE Banner 2014 Large

What is a Perennial Exchange?   It’s an opportunity to trade your perennial plants for new and different plant varieties.    If you have an overabundance of a particular plant in your garden, dig up a part of the plant and separate it, label it (if you know what it is) and bring it to the Exchange to trade.    Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or backyard beginner, the exchange is an economical and fun way to diversify your garden.  And no need to bring your wallet.  This is a free event.

trade

If you don’t have plants to trade, you’re invited to stop by anyway.  You’ll meet other gardening enthusiasts, pick up planting tips and tricks and have your questions answered by a master gardener.  While you are there, partake in complimentary baked goods and try your luck in a free gift raffle.  Gardeners may even have some extra plants to share.

To help us celebrate, our Downtown Auburn Hills businesses are offering specials that are sure to draw you Downtown after the exchange and all year long.

The Perennial Exchange is hosted by the Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission.  We welcome you to join us at the beautiful River Woods Park pavilion on Squirrel road just south of M-59.

 

 

What is Justice?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

What is justice?  Its definition has been debated for centuries.  The Framers of our country’s constitution made a point of talking about it; although admittedly their emphasis was on protecting individual liberties through the legal process and not necessarily on the moral or ethical virtue.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution states …
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The pursuit of justice and a better world was the utopian reason I entered the profession of public service after college.  Perhaps, it influences your work as well.  I’ve focused much of my career on the study of the ethics of justice and fair outcomes.  My reasons may differ from others and they’ve evolved over time with life experience.  However, its full meaning and application still eludes me.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been told by wise people that “life is not fair.”  Yes, they’re right, we can can’t control all outcomes.  But, how do people in my position, people like us, seek justice and fairness in the things we do control in an unjust and unfair world?

Recently, I had the opportunity in Gettysburg and Atlanta to learn about different perspectives on leadership and justice.  Those who led in crisis and those who missed their opportunity.  Those who sought justice and honor in the face of death (on opposing sides that both truly felt they were right).

What is justice?  There’s no easy answer to this question.  Perhaps, it’s an expression of our common recognition of each other’s basic dignity, and an understanding that we live together in an inter-dependent community.  It’s an important virtue that we should all never let fall off our radar.

The monument to the 24th Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg.  The granite monument stands just over 14 feet tall.  The 24th lost more killed and wounded than any Union regiment at Gettysburg.

The monument to the 24th Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. The granite monument stands just over 14 feet tall. The 24th lost more killed and wounded than any Union regiment at Gettysburg.