Supporting Grand Traverse County first responders

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Throughout Michigan there is a lot of talk about modernizing our state’s infrastructure. In addition to the need to upgrade roads, bridges, and water pipes, we are also making strides to update something that is often overlooked, but that is just as important to the safety and well-being of residents — the Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS).

About 25 years ago, the MPSCS was established to provide a statewide radio communication network for first responders. According to the Department of Technology, Management & Budget, which operates the system, it is a stable, secure framework for interoperable communications among local, state, federal, tribal and private first responders, supplying a public safety communication resource for all.

With more than 244 radio towers and 66,000 radios, the network spans nearly 60,000 square miles and is the second-largest trunked communication system in the world.

I am proud to say that Grand Traverse County will be joining the newly expanded MPSCS this spring. During March and April, the county will be switching 750 radios and 250 specialty pagers to the fast, reliable and far-reaching network to provide better communications for the county’s first responders, which will benefit all who live and visit the county.

I was honored to join MPSCS’s Brad Stoddard, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Emergency Communications Activities’ Admiral Mike Hewitt, and other emergency communications professionals at the recent Statewide Interoperable Communications Conference to help announce this news.

We often take for granted the infrastructure, systems and, indeed, the people who serve our state to ensure public safety. It is a critical function of government we depend on and expect to just work when an emergency happens, and I am committed to supporting this reliable and sustainable communications network so our public safety professionals can provide the best service possible.

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Schmidt offering free guide to appeal property tax assessments

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Wayne Schmidt said 37th District residents can access a free guide on how to appeal property tax assessments on his website and at county clerks offices throughout the district, free of charge.

“Occasionally property owners encounter errors with their tax assessments,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “If residents think there is an inaccuracy with theirs, this free guide will be a valuable resource when considering appealing an assessment.”

Schmidt recommended checking for errors on property record cards, and to look over homes for structural damage or problems not associated with general aging that could affect the value of the property. It is also smart to research comparable properties in your area.

If property owners believe an assessment is wrong, an appeal can be made to the local Board of Review and, if necessary, the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

To access the free guide on how to effectively appeal your property tax assessment, as well as the 2016 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide, on the web, visit SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/Publications.

Printed copies of the guide have been delivered to the eight county clerks offices in the 37th District. Residents may stop in and pick up a copy for free.

County Clerk Locations:

Antrim County
203 E. Cayuga St.
Bellaire, MI

Charlevoix County
203 Antrim St.
Charlevoix, MI

Cheboygan County
870 S Main St.
Cheboygan, MI

Chippewa County
319 Court St.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Emmet County
200 Division St.
Petoskey, MI

Grand Traverse County
400 Boardman Ave.
Traverse City, MI

Luce County
407 W Harrie St.
Newberry, MI

Mackinac County
100 S Marley St.
Suite 10
St Ignace, MI

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Senators applaud Ohio Soo Locks resolution; urge neighboring states to act

LANSING, Mich. – State Senators Wayne Schmidt, Ken Horn and Tom Casperson today applauded the Ohio House of Representatives’ adoption of a resolution urging the U.S. government to upgrade the Soo Locks.

“I appreciate the action taken by Ohio’s legislature calling on the federal government to upgrade the Soo Locks,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee. “Ohioans, like Michiganders, understand the locks’ economic importance to our respective states, the Great Lakes region and the United States. Tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of resources depend on safe and continued travel through the Soo Locks. Now, more than ever, it’s time to modernize this vital trade passage.”

Ohio’s House Resolution 263, much like one adopted by the Michigan Senate last November, calls on the president, the Congress and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to upgrade the locks, and urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with preparing an economic reevaluation report.

Only one of the four Soo Locks is currently large enough to accommodate the modern vessels that commonly traverse the Great Lakes. Seventy percent of cargo is carried on the large ships that can only pass through the Poe Lock.

“With so much riding, literally, on the single Poe Lock, we’re presented with a potential economic and security disaster should that lock go down for any amount of time,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth, who chairs the Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee. “For those reasons and to help our economy grow, we must upgrade the locks. Michigan understands that. Ohio understands that. It’s time for the federal government to stand up and act as well.”

Approximately 10,000 vessels travel through the locks annually, carrying 80 million tons of iron ore, coal, grain, and other cargo. Nearly 80 percent of domestic iron ore, the primary material used to manufacture steel, travels from mines in the Upper Peninsula and neighboring states through the Soo Locks.

The senators called on their colleagues in the legislatures of neighboring Great Lakes states Wisconsin and Minnesota to also adopt a Soo Locks resolution.

“A new lock will provide the secure, redundant, and reliable Soo Lock system vital to Michigan, to other Great Lakes states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and to the nation as a whole,” said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Casperson, R-Escanaba. “Adopting these resolutions in a joint effort is critical to moving the process forward.”

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Schmidt to participate in press conference at Michigan Statewide Interoperable Communications Conference

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, will speak at a press conference Monday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. to help kick off the Statewide Interoperable Communications Conference.

The event will be hosted by the Michigan Department of Management and Budget’s Public Safety Communications System and the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Feb. 22-25.

Monday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m.
Sen. Wayne Schmidt will participate in a press conference at the Statewide Interoperable Communications Conference.

Location:
Great Wolf Lodge
Pine Conference Room
3575 U.S. 31 South
Traverse City

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