Archived Story

County pay panel appointed by Wagel

Published 11:03am Friday, November 20, 2009

Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – Cass County commissioners usually adjust non-union salaries and wages in December.

Chairman Bob Wagel, R-Wayne Township, Thursday night appointed an ad hoe committee chaired by Commissioner Minnie Warren, D-Pokagon Township, to consider 2010 non-union salaries, wages and benefits.

Wagel asked the pay panel to deliver its recommendation by Dec. 17.

Members on the salary committee with Warren include Carl Higley Sr. of Edwardsburg, Cathy Goodenough of Marcellus, Debbie Johnson of Niles, Dixie Ann File of Cassopolis and Gordon Bickel Sr. of Constantine.

The committee previously recommended raises for five elected officials.

The Village of Edwardsburg and Ontwa Township created the Uptown Corridor Improvement Authority, for which they scheduled a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, at the township hall.

Commissioners then have 60 days to opt out of the proposed tax capture.

The board adopted a policy on tax-sharing agreements March 19, 2009, which states the county will not permit the capture unless the Board of Commissioners approves a tax-sharing agreement with the Corridor Improvement Authority, the township and the village.

“No such agreement exists,” said Commissioner Gordon Bickel, R-Porter Township, moving for the committee.

Wagel appointed a second ad hoc committee to consider tax capture by the Edwardsburg Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA) and the county policy on tax  sharing and to submit a recommendation to the board by its next meeting.

Commissioners Higley, E. Clark Cobb of Dowagiac, David Taylor of Edwardsburg, Charlie Arnold of Cassopolis and Ed Goodman of Silver Creek will analyze the Edwardsburg issue, chaired by Higley.

According to Grants and Projects Manager Sandy Gower, Edwardsburg’s 20-year plan spans 2010-2030 for improvements estimated to cost $8.375 million, from streetscape and facade improvements to water main replacement and a clock tower.

The plan counts on $135,000 in tax increment financing (TIF) for organizational matters and marketing.

Commissioners already scheduled their next workshop at the Edward Lowe Foundation’s Billieville conference center for Feb. 27, 2010.

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