MACKIANC ISLAND (WWJ) – Could Macomb County soon see a major hotel along the Lake St. Clair shoreline?

County Executive Mark Hackel, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950 Wednesday morning from the Mackinac Policy Conference, says “watch this space.”

“We’re looking at land acquisition,” he told WWJ’s Tom Jordan and Roberta Jasina, “and we’re working with the DNR trust funds, as well as our water resource advisory council in Macomb County.”

“So that ‘Blue Economy’ initiative that we started with about two years ago, it’s really taken hold, and there’s been some incredible advancement,” Hackel said. “I wouldn’t be too surprised — not that I can make any announcements in the short-term here — that you’ll see something like that come in the new future.”

Hackel couldn’t give a definite time frame but said he expects to be able to talk more about it in the coming year.

Government and business leaders headed up north for the conference couldn’t help but notice two billboards, on I-75 between Indian River and Mackinac City, advertising Hackel’s county.

The messages read: “Macomb Adds Value to the Region” and “The Region Adds Value to Macomb”.

“We want to…get that dialogue going and kind of change the conversation if you will to a more positive messaging so we can better brand and understand what we’ve got here, and showcase it to the world,” Hackel said.

As always, jobs and the economy are a major topic at the conference.

Asked about recent developments in the state legislature, Hackel says he supports the move to raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $9,25 an hour.

“…I’m a Macomb County kid, born and raised there, so I realize…it’s kind of a blue-collar county, but we’re more than that,” he said. “And the reality is, you know what, some of these people are struggling and so, the minimum wage (hike), I think it was important; I was glad to see it at least move in the direction it did.

“I’d like to have seen it a little bit higher, absolutely,” he added.

Hackel said he would have preferred the wage going to $10.10 an hour. Under the current House proposal, the wage would increase in stages over the next three years.

Hear WWJ’s complete interview with Mark Hackel above and visit this link for more Mackinac Policy Conference coverage.


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