December office hours in St. Charles
My next office hours will be held tomorrow
Friday, December 18th from 10 a.m. – noon at the St. Charles Public Library: 104 W. Spruce St., St Charles, MI 48655
. I'll be there to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary. I look forward to seeing you! Hometown Tours: Kluck Nursery
I recently wrapped up my Hometown Tours for the year at Kluck Nursery and Christmas tree farm in Thomas Township.
Marty Royer, who is responsible for marketing and human resources for the nursery, greeted me and made sure that I was equipped for an afternoon of harvesting and preparing Christmas trees.
I not only considered this to be an exciting stop, but one that was fitting for the season. I've enjoyed bringing my family out here over the years and thought it would be a fantastic way to close out my 2015 Hometown Tours.
Kluck Nursery is a fourth generation, family-run operation that has held its roots in the Saginaw community since the 1920s. Beginning with an acre of land, the Kluck family has expanded its operation to a full-service wholesale and retail nursery that has exponentially increased, now encompassing more than 300 acres.
When I first got there, Marty gave me a great overview of the history of the farm, their day-to-day operations and what he had in store for me. I was most impressed by what they have been able to build over time. To be able to start with a few acres and build it into a successful 350-acre business that has been family owned since the beginning is a textbook example of the American dream.
After getting geared up and gathering the equipment, Marty and I began combing row after row, inspecting the trees and making sure they were all in perfect condition before consideration for sale. Each year they plant roughly 6,000 Christmas trees. It amazes me how they keep each one of the trees so neat and tidy looking. Each tree has a perfectly symmetrical cone shape to it — and they do it by hand.
Once a tree is selected, it is cut down, placed on a pull cart and taken up to the preparation area where it will go through various stages before reaching the customer's vehicle. Each stage has its own special purpose related to customers' various needs.
First, the tree is measured with rods that are seven, eight or nine feet, which represent ceiling height. This ensures the tree will comfortably fit in the customer's home. It is then trimmed and drilled for mounting in a Christmas tree stand and shaken to get rid of any loose needles. Finally, it goes through a baler, where it is wrapped with twine and prepared for easy transport.
I had a bit of trouble with the baler at first, but I got it down and I was able to wrap some trees for a few customers. It was a great experience learning the ins-and-outs of the operation and getting to meet a few new faces throughout the process.
If you're in the market for a Christmas tree, I am confident the family- and pet-friendly atmosphere at Kluck's will be a great treat for you and your kids.
I'd like to thank everyone involved and all who made this, and all of the 2015 Hometown Tours, a success. I want to personally thank Tom Kluck for having me out to his nursery and Marty for giving us such a great and informational tour.
My Hometown Tours feature various communities in the 32nd District. If you are interested in having me visit your area, please contact my office at (517) 373-1760, toll-free at (855) 347-8032 or by email at SenKHorn@senate.michigan.gov
. Senate Bill 556 extending Commercial Rehabilitation Act signed by Gov. Snyder
My bill, Senate Bill 556, which amends the Commercial Rehabilitation Act was signed by Gov. Snyder on Tuesday.
The Commercial Rehabilitation Act allows a city, village or township to establish commercial rehabilitation districts and allow tax exemptions for qualified parcels of land deemed likely to increase commercial activity or create employment.
If the land owner intends to rehabilitate the property, they may apply for a commercial rehabilitation certificate. If a certificate is granted, the facility retains its current tax level for a period of time in order to create an incentive to redevelop the area.
The act was set to expire Dec. 31, 2015, but Senate Bill 556 extends that sunset by five years, enabling the program to remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2020.
This is an extremely important tool for local units of government to use to fix up old properties and make them beneficial to the community. As chair of the Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee, I was happy to work with all involved and to see this legislation pass with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
"The Commercial Rehabilitation Act has made it possible for many vacant sites and buildings across the state to be put into productive re-use, which has in turn created much needed jobs and tax revenue," said David Carroll, Rock Ventures vice president. "We are glad to see the act extended and we are grateful for Senator Horn's leadership. This extension will help ensure the continued positive momentum we're seeing in Detroit and across Michigan."
SB 556 is now Public Act 218 of 2015. Nativity at the Capitol
On December 19, I will bring to Lansing a Nativity scene to place on the Capitol lawn. Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland has been very generous in helping us make this practice a reality.
While I will bring my outdoor Nativity to Lansing, my friend Senator Rick Jones will set it up each morning and take it down each evening to meet Capitol Service's rules, including on Christmas Day.
So if you're able, you are welcome to join us at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19th, on the Capitol lawn to sing Christmas carols.
Merry Christmas to All!
Community Update: United Way of Saginaw County and SCCMHA Partnering in Michigan Children's Health Access Program
I received the following update about a great partnership in our area that I wanted to share with you:
In an effort to improve the health and wellness of Saginaw County children by better utilizing existing resources while reducing cost, United Way of Saginaw County and Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority will partner in the Michigan Children's Health Access Program.
In conjunction with the Michigan Association of United Ways and with funding provided by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, a $50,000 grant will be used during the first year in the development of a Children's Health Access Program.
Through the partnership with SCCMHA, funds from the Michigan Children's Health Access Program will be put to use through the Saginaw Community Care HUB to create a program on the ground in the community. This new program will become operational in February and will deploy Community Care Workers through the Community Care HUB to engage young referrals with home-based case management. Community Care Workers will work with families in an environment that is comfortable to them, helping to connect them to appropriate medical services and supports to better manage the overall health and wellbeing of their children. Stay informed on winter road conditions
Michigan weather can change in a minute — especially in winter! So take a few moments to be prepared before heading out on the road.
Motorists can check the Michigan State Police Winter Travel Advisory website for information on road conditions for the state's freeways and trunk lines, which are the first to be cleared during winter weather. The site is updated twice a day or as information concerning travel conditions is received. Visit www.michigan.gov/roadconditions
or call the hotline at 1-800-381-8477. Also keep in mind that if weather conditions appear to be too severe to travel, they most likely are.