City buy retains access to Witko Ponds

Published 7:58 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dowagiac Daily News

City-owned Witko Ponds sit directly north of Dowagiac’s wastewater treatment plant on M-62 West.

They have been actively fished by local anglers for decades.

Primary access to these ponds is to trespass onto property adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant.

City Manager Kevin Anderson advised Dowagiac City Council Monday night that with ownership of this property about to change, “Future owners could readily close off access” and post “no trespassing” signs.

“It is important to maintain this access now and in the future,” Anderson recommended to the council, which voted to accept negotiations completed with Carole Chappell, current owner of the 11-acre parcel adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant.

Anderson proposed the city purchase a 100-foot strip directly east of the wastewater treatment plant for access to the quarry.

“This strip will be large enough to give the city a number of options for streets, sidewalks, bicycle paths, etc., for the future,” Anderson said.

Dowagiac will buy the ribbon of Silver Creek Township from Chappell for about $25,000, subject to final acreage to be determined by a survey.

The city will pay the entire balance at closing and be responsible for paying all closing costs, according to the agreement.