Welcome to SEMCOG's Think Regional/Act Local blog! SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county regions 4.7 million residents. With this regional perspective in mind, we work with member local governments to sustain our regions reputation as a great place to work, play, and do business.


Our panel of SEMCOG staff bloggers will post daily to this blog, discussing SEMCOG's data, federal and state legislative issues, and environmental and fiscal sustainability best practices for local governments all with the goal of creating a successful future for the region.



Think Regional/Act Local

Fast Track 911 Dispatch Collaboration

(Best Practice, Collaboration, Efficiency, Regionalism, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link

Sharing 911 dispatch can be one of the most cost effective and easy to implement collaborative arrangements possible. We have helped many communities analyze the viability of such arrangements, and have facilitated the implementation of several projects. One example is between the cities of Wayne and Garden City. From concept to full implementation only took 6 months and the results have been phenomenal as indicated in the chart below excerpted from a SEMCOG Webinar about dispatch collaboration. And read more about Wayne’s latest efforts to share services with the City of Westland in this June 12, 2012, Free Press article. And finally, if your local government is a SEMCOG member, contact me (boerger@semcog.org) for no cost help assessing the viability of similar shared service arrangements with your neighboring communities.




Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and providing information on right-sizing. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

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Are we finally building a bridge?

(Regionalism, Transportation) Permanent link

There are lots of transportation issues to write about these days. Should the Federal Transit Administration provide M-1 Rail with a $25 million TIGER Grant? The federal transportation funding bill – SAFETEA-LU – is rapidly drawing to the end of yet another short term extension. Are we going to get a long term bill? What about the Regional Transit Authority, or RTA bills? Good issues and all very important issues. However, there is another big one out there that has been off the radar for a while, but may be making a comeback – the proposed New International Trade Crossing project.


There was a report last week that Governor Snyder is at least considering bypassing the state legislature in order to build a second span across the Detroit River. Crain’s Detroit Business reported that Snyder is looking at using the power of an inter-local agreement to activate plans, which have been in the works for a few years now.


Snyder would turn to the Michigan Strategic Fund, an economic development board, to partner with Canada. It would be an innovative way of moving an important economic development project. If this is, in fact, the direction he is heading in, I applaud the governor for finding an innovative approach to getting this bridge built. This new bridge needs to be built and built soon.  The economy of our region is in many ways dependent on a bridge structure in excess of 80 years old and getting older every day.  The sooner the new bridge is built, the sooner the existing bridge can either be improved or replaced, guaranteeing redundancy and protecting our place as one of the most important freight gateways in the country and the world.


Let’s do it!


Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

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