City council approves extension on agreement

DOWAGIAC — An agreement for local transportation was extended Monday by a vote of the city council.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, council members voted to approve a resolution to authorize an extension of an agreement with Cass County Transportation Authority for Dial-A-Ride services within the city of Dowagiac.

DART, which has provided transportation services to residents of Dowagiac since 1975, offers a 24-hour advance reservation curb to curb service. DART is a demand response service, meaning that customers must call and request a ride rather than the buses maintaining regular routes. In addition to providing coverage within city limits, drivers also provide coverage to residents and businesses one mile outside them, including to Southwestern Michigan College.

In 2015, DART entered into a partnership with the Cass County Transportation Authority, which now handles many of the day-to-day operations, including dispatch and vehicle maintenance and storage. 

City Manager Kevin Anderson said the resolution to extend the agreement was routine.

“This has worked well for both [the city council and the Cass County Transpiration Authority],” he said.

However, Anderson did add that it may be time for the city to consider a millage to continue to fund transportation services due to declines in revenues from state and federal sources.

“These things don’t pay for themselves,” he said. “We looked at a millage a couple years ago, and it may be coming up to a time to have that conversation again, just because of the negative cash flow that comes from these services.”

Mayor Don Lyons reminded the council Monday that the agreement has strong opt out provisions, which allows the city to not be bound to the agreement, should council members decide the agreement has become inappropriate.

“If for some reason the Cass County Transportation Authority runs into trouble, we can opt out,” he said.

The agreement extension was unanimously approved by all present council members Monday.

Also Monday:

• The city council approved a resolution to authorize an agreement for engineering services for water system improvements with Wightman for $141,000.

• The city council approved an event request for the citywide Christmas open house weekend. The event will take place Nov. 9-11. The weekend is being sponsored by Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital and the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce. In addition to holiday shopping, the event will feature vocal, instrumental and dance performances at Beckwith Park, horse drawn carriage rides and a Theta Mu Sorority craft show.

Berrien County

Berrien County Health department gets blunt on marijuana education, safety

Cass County

Two Dowagiac men sentenced Friday in Cass County Court

Cass County

Cass County works to expand broadband access

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township passes 2.25 percent millage increase

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Cassopolis

Cassopolis awards preliminary marijuana licenses

News

Niles police chief looks forward to continuing work with city, two departments

Cass County

North Pointe Center class partners with church for cemetery cleanup project

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 113,863 cases, 6,623 deaths

Cassopolis

Cass County to partake in annual Crop Hunger Walk

Brandywine Education

Performing Arts Workshops launches memorial fundraising campaign

News

Court of Appeals rules secretary Benson acted lawfully in mailing absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters

Dowagiac

SMC welcomes new dean of business, advanced technology

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks to host annual Guys & Dolls Golf Outing

Cass County

Michigan Works! closes central office, opens three new locations

Berrien County

MSP traffic stop data reveals need for deeper study

Berrien County

Ballard staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Cass County

Two arrested on meth charges in Pokagon Township

Berrien County

Lakeland Heart and Vascular earns testing reaccreditation by IAC

News

Court of Appeals: Absentee ballot mailers were lawfully distributed

Cassopolis

Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries helps families in need during pandemic

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 113,863 cases, 6,623 deaths

Berrien County

PACE of Southwest Michigan celebrates National PACE Month, anniversary

News

City of Niles to begin hydrant flushing on Sept. 21