New DDA board nixed

Published 8:46 am Monday, August 16, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - A list of names suggested for an all new Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was not approved Monday evening when presented to the Village Council by President Julia Bell.
Saying all the terms of former members had expired, and the DDA act says to stagger the terms, Village Manager Art Sciorra said he chose different term limits for the new names, which included some who did not live in the village, or even Cassopolis. Only former DDA members Debbie Marshall and Shirley Lee, were still on the new list.
At a previous meeting, Dr. John Hayman, a 14-year resident and member of the DDA, had questioned why Bell and Sciorra had said the DDA was dissolved. Meeting times were no longer posted at the Municipal Building. "When did our terms expire," he asked, but was never answered.
Sciorra also hoped to end all talk of him holding a check from Jim and Sue Ameigh when they were in the village's grant rehab program, because of of their not selling the village a piece of land he hoped to someday be used for a new fire department.
If need, he added, the land could be condemned and taken over by the village that way.
Sciorra had Harv Humphrey from Community Housing Initiative (CHI) tell of his review of his actions.
Humphrey said the check was held due because all the paperwork was not in order. He didn't blame the Ameighs for this, but Mike Joyce, who was working for CHI at the time.
What resulted, Humphrey said, "was confusion."
Both Sciorra and Bell said it was time to restore the "good name of the village" and take advantage of its growth.
In other business:
the board approved the purchase of a generator to replace one for the fire department.
voted to fund the village's portion of the consulting fees of $1,200, for the Cassopolis Area Ambulance out of the general fund.