Reading is Still Fun-damental

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

One of the best indicators of future scholastic and professional success is attaining solid reading skills.  With this in mind, the Auburn Hills Noon Optimist Club is holding a Book Fair on Friday, March 28th for local kids.  At the fair, the Club will donate age appropriate books to every student at Will Rogers Elementary.  Hundreds of books will be given away.

Will Rogers Elementary is located at 2600 Dexter Road in Auburn Hills
Will Rogers Elementary is located at 2600 Dexter Road in Auburn Hills

If you wish to donate new (or slightly used) books or provide a monetary donation for purchasing books, please bring them to the Auburn Hills Community Center.  Donations are appreciated by Tuesday, March 11th, but will be accepted up until the day of the Book Fair.  Optimist Club President Brian Marzolf tells us the greatest need is for chapter books for pre-teen boys and girls in Grades 5 and 6.

So, please help our area students receive the gift of reading by donating a book or two.  It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Reading is Still Fun-damental

City Manager Auger Speaks on WJR

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

“It’s such an exciting time to be in Auburn Hills.”   You can feel his passion.  The sense of pride in his hometown community that just emanates from his voice.

City Manager Pete Auger was interviewed on News/Talk 760 WJR yesterday and did a fine job representing our town.  Pete appeared on the Prosperity Agenda radio show and discussed placemaking, economic development, and all the new things happening here.

wjr-prosperitylogo

The Prosperity Agenda is an hour-long, monthly show that has been airing since 2010.   The show, hosted by Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work, and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities.

Click here to listen to the interview  (scroll down to the last segment in the program with Pete’s name and picture next to it).

He addressed the following topics:

  • The City’s plan for Downtown Auburn Hills and the desire to create a “great place” that has a sense of identity.
  • The new economic development Auburn Hills has been experiencing.
  • Preparing for the housing and service needs of aging Baby Boomers and the Age-Friendly Auburn Hills initiative.
  • How many Federal and State policies negatively impact local governments and how things can get better with improved collaboration and leadership.

Enjoy the interview.

City Manager Auger Speaks on WJR

Age-Friendly Homes Slated Near Downtown

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Looking to live in a new home near Downtown Auburn Hills?  You’re in luck.  If approved by the City Council in early April, developer Mike Mattera plans to start building a single-family residential development called Forester Hills this Fall.

The project is proposed to be constructed on a 6.3 acre parcel located west of Old Adams Road, north of the Forester Square Condominiums.  It will consist of 28 home sites.

The site was previously contemplated as a “future phase” of the former Forester Square PUD project.
The site was previously contemplated as a “future phase” of the former Forester Square PUD project.

The new ranch and split-level style homes will be between 1,600 and 2,300 square feet in size.  Designed with a brick and vinyl exterior, each home will have a full basement and two car garage.  All garages will be prepped for future electric vehicle charging equipment installation.

A unique aspect of the project is Mr. Mattera’s committment to build homes with design elements that accommodate “aging in place.”  Some features include:  doors with 32 inches of clear passage space, a master bedroom and bathroom on the main floor that you can get into in a wheelchair, and the ability to affordably modify the front or garage entryways into zero step entrances.  This well-thought out and progressive design will make the homes friendly for all ages and accessible for the disabled; an excellent example for other builders to follow.

If you wish to learn more, Forester Hills is scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Thursday, March 20th at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chamber.

New homes are coming … just more great news for Downtown Auburn Hills.

Age-Friendly Homes Slated Near Downtown

BorgWarner Celebrates Expansion

Posted by – Laurie Renaud, Economic Development Coordinator

Yesterday, BorgWarner celebrated a new 16,000 square foot expansion with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at their Powertrain Technical Center (PTC) facility located at 3800 Automation Drive.

James R. Verrier, President and Chief Executive Officer, was on hand to thank the company’s employees for what they have accomplished in recent years; growing their market share and doing an exceptional job.

Mayor McDaniel and Mayor Pro Tem Kittle participated in the ribbon cutting.
Mayor McDaniel and Mayor Pro Tem Kittle participated in the ribbon cutting.

The expansion process began last August with site plan review and tax abatement procedures.  Today, the high-tech addition is finished and looks great.

The City of Auburn Hills has been fortunate to be the home of BorgWarner, which also houses its World Headquarters in our community.  The company is a global product leader in powertrain solutions with a focus on developing technologies that improve fuel economy, emissions, and performance.

BorgWarner has been a great company receiving numerous awards for their accomplishments in their field.  We look forward to watching their continued growth and their ingenuity in powertrain systems.

BorgWarner Celebrates Expansion

What’s Your Rock Star Idea?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

rock_star_light_flare
What’s Your Rock Star Idea?

What’s important to you?  Do you have a game changing “Rock Star” idea that no one has ever contemplated?  Tell us, we value your input.

The Age-Friendly Auburn Hills initiative officially takes off this Thursday, February 27th and the following Tuesday, March 4th with events that promise to be engaging.

The City wants to learn what you think an Age-Friendly Community should look like so that our town can become a better place to live, work, play, and age in the years to come.

As part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, we have heard some great ideas from all across the world over the past year.  Such as,

  • The Man Shed – A place where older men can get together to build something with a shared purpose.  Project’s range in size from creating toys for children to constructing bus shelters for the community.  The idea is based on sociological studies that find many males like to do things with others – not just talk.  A big challenge with many men as they age is that they often become isolated and this program gives them a reason to come together.
  • Age-Friendly Business Program – Understanding the economic value of seniors and that they can become loyal customers, many businesses are participating in proactive and voluntary certification programs that highlight their friendliness.  Small things like putting stock on lower shelves, offering delivery services, and making font sizes larger on printed materials make a big difference and better serve older customers.
  • Grandparent’s Park – One municipality decided to retrofit one of their public parks with equipment that both grandparents and their grandchildren can play together on.  That type of interaction is priceless and we thought it was such a cool idea.

So, what’s your Rock Star idea?  Even better yet, come tell us what you think in a safe, facilitated conversation about improving housing, transportation, and programs for seniors.

Come to one of our community conversations, listed below.  All the events will start at 6:30 p.m. and last about two hours.

  • Thursday, February 27 – Great Lakes Golf and Sports Complex – 3951 Joslyn Road
  • Tuesday, March 4 – Auburn Hills Christian Center – 2592 E. Walton
  • Wednesday, March 26 – Avondale R. Grant Graham Elementary – 2450 Old Salem Road
  • Tuesday, April 1 – North Auburn Hills Baptist Church – 3889 N. Squirrel Road
  • Wednesday, April 16 – Avondale High School – 2800 Waukegan

We would love to see you.

What’s Your Rock Star Idea?

Notre Dame Killer Bees Are Buzzing Again

Posted by – Laurie Renaud, Economic Development Coordinator

FIRST Robotics has the Notre Dame Killer Bees buzzing again.  This year’s challenge is aerial assist robots passing to each other for points and shooting into different levels for additional points.  Click here to view the project they are working on.

The Notre Dame Killer Bees held their Open House celebration to thank sponsors for their support.  It was a great turnout of area businesses, mentors, families, and of course the students that bring the robots to fruition.  Although it is too early to share a picture of the robot, let me just say the workmanship, once again, is superb.

hat

The team work involved in building and programming these robots in six short weeks has the teams staying up through the night.  The name of their team is so fitting because there is such a buzz of excitement going on thorough the night.  The group continues to work with other groups during the off-season too.  They’ve held camps for Girl Scout groups, taken their robot to other schools, and entered it in parades, just to name a few activities.  Marketing and fundraising are key to their existence.  These competitions are not cheap, but certainly worth the support.  The students are dedicated and amazing.

I was able to chat with some of the team members during the event held at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earlier this week.  Two gals, Sabrina Lasota and Kate Grogan, from the BATMAN Team, which stands for Business & Technology Marketing & Networking, explained that their group is responsible for writing and producing video for the Chairman’s Award, along with all other communication and networking for the team.

Michigan has taken over the largest amount of teams this year.  We now have 297 teams, beating out California.  Way to go Michigan students!  Thanks to all the sponsors of these teams. Without them it would not be possible.  These kids are our future – invest and support them please.

Notre Dame Killer Bees Are Buzzing Again

Still Feel The Emotions

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Last night, I watched a short video that the City of Auburn Hills made in partnership with the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce in January 2012.  It’s called The Auburn Hills Story.  The clip still impacts many of us.  I personally make a point to watch it often to remind me of our team’s mission.

It brings back a sea of emotions.  A reminder of the fear and uncertainty that the Great Recession brought to Michigan families.  In Auburn Hills, we saw Chrysler lay off thousands of workers and witnessed several auto suppliers struggle to stay open.  The number of home foreclosures were high in the region because thousands of people were out of work and couldn’t pay their mortgages – many being forced to leave the State to look for new jobs.  There was even talk of the Palace of Auburn Hills becoming a “white elephant” and the imminent move of the Pistons to another community.  It was an uneasy time.

However, Auburn Hills had a choice.  Be paralyzed with worry … or keep our heads up and move forward.   Our community collectively chose the latter.  We chose to innovate, hustle, and think differently.  Today, we’re in a better place.

If you’ve never seen this short video (2 minutes and 27 seconds long), watch it.   If it’s been a while since you’ve last watched it, do it again.  Feel the emotions and remember.

Still Feel The Emotions