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Commissioners table Smith’s Chapel fate

Published 6:19pm Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – A motion to appoint an ad hoc committee to gauge interest in Cass County acquiring Smith’s Chapel in Milton Township was tabled 11-4 Thursday night by the Board of Commissioners after former chairman Robert Wagel blasted it as the “most ridiculous” agenda item in 16 years on the board.

The committee was to consist of Chairman Robert Ziliak, R-Milton Township, Vice Chairman Ron Francis, R-Cassopolis, Commissioner David Taylor, D-Edwardsburg, and Commissioner Debbie Johnson, D-Howard Township, “to further review and make a recommendation to the full board on the future of Smith’s Chapel.”

Turns out Wagel wasn’t alone in having heard enough.

The quartet of potential panel members were the only favorable votes.

The rest of the commission backed Wagel, R-Wayne Township, in tabling the matter.

On Sept. 11, 2009, a meeting was held at Smith’s Chapel concerning its future after Milton Township invested more than $100,000 in refurbishing it.

In attendance were Francis, Commissioner Gordon Bickel, R-Porter Township, Taylor and Ziliak, along with the Historical Commission, Smith’s Chapel Historical Society and the Milton Township supervisor.

“It’s a waste of the county’s money to even investigate this,” Wagel said. “That other group is looking at ways to finance this. We should not even be involved in this situation. I therefore move to table this motion.”

Wagel further requested a roll-call vote “so people can see how commissioners are spending money.”

Agreeing were Commissioners Ed Goodman, R-Silver Creek Township; Commissioner Cathy Goodenough, R-Marcellus; Commissioner Bill Steele, D-Calvin Township; Bickel; Commissioner Charlie Arnold, R-Cassopolis; Commissioner Carl Higley, R-Edwardsburg; Commissioner Annie File, R-Cassopolis; Commissioner Clark Cobb, D-Dowagiac; Commissioner Minnie Warren, D-Pokagon Township; and Commissioner Johnie Rodebush, D-Howard Township.

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