Farm Bureau backs road mill

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Cass County Farm Bureau leadership has voted unanimously to support the road millage proposal that will appear on the Feb. 28 ballot. It is one of several recent endorsements for the millage being made by Cass County organizations.
If passed, the levy of 1 mill on the taxable values of all properties in the county for five years will raise $1.8 million per year for maintenance and repair of the primary roads in the county and within municipalities.
“Farmers understand the value in good roads to move their products efficiently and safely.
Providing scheduled road maintenance is much more cost effective than waiting for the road to fail and than having to spend three or four times more to restore the pavement,” said Cliff Poehlman, a member of the Farm Bureau and a Cass County road commissioner.
The Cass County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Nov. 17 to place the millage proposal on the Feb. 28 ballot.
Better Roads for Cass County Committee Chairperson Pete Fournier stated that the support of the Cass County Farm Bureau is welcome. Numerous groups and individuals have expressed support of the millage effort.
The latest includes the City of Dowagiac, the Village of Marcellus, LaGrange Township and McKenzie Highland Farms.
“Asking people to pass a millage in these economic times is not pleasant or pleasing, but the response has been generally favorable,” said Fournier.
In his opinion, the reasons are because local residents are beginning to understand that fiscal responsibility for roads is falling on their shoulders because of a lack of action at the state level.
Also, wording in the proposal allows the road commissioners to decline accessing the millage if adequate state funding is restored.
A published list of the primary roads that will be repaired each year, if the proposal passes, allows the public to know where and when the millage funds will be spent, Fournier said.
Volunteers with the Better Roads for Cass County committee have been speaking around the county during January and February.
Two open houses for the public to ask questions about the proposal are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Pokagon Township Hall, 30497 Peavine St., Dowagiac, and the Mason Township Hall, 17049 U.S. 12, Edwardsburg.
To schedule a presentation or for more information about the measure, visit