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City authorizes water service to Pokagon Band

Published 8:14pm Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians will soon receive the city of Dowagiac’s water service after an agreement was authorized Tuesday to extend the water lines to the development on Dailey and Mathews roads.

During the regular meeting of the Dowagiac City Council, City Manager Kevin Anderson detailed the timeline of the project, which will begin building the necessary provisions for water service in the coming months. While the city will provide water to the existing homes, new community center and new developments, the Pokagon Band received a $600,000 grant from Housing and Urban Development to fund the project. The grant was part of a $56 million sum awarded to several tribes across the country in an effort to increase and improve housing.

“This is a strong and important agreement,” Anderson said Tuesday during the meeting. “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi have a terrific development taking place out there.”

Currently, the Band has approximately 320 acres of land located near Dailey and Mathews roads. In addition to the new community center, which is completely “green,” the development also boasts 36 residential homes.

According to Jim Coleman, the housing director for the Pokagon Band, 32 to 34 more residential housing units will be built this summer.

“This agreement will have us install fire hydrants and put the development on municipal water,” Coleman said. “In the coming years, we’d also like to build more homes.”

Engineer Matt Davis of Wightman and Associates Inc. said the project benefits the city and the tribe.

“It’s one of those win-win situations,” Davis said. “The city will be able to close their loop of water service, and the tribal community gets good water and extended fire protection.”

The $600,000 grant, which the Band received last month, will go toward extending the water lines to include the tribal development and also to building new homes.

“The Band will pay for all the capital costs,” Anderson said. “It is a real solid agreement.”

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