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

COVID-19 UPDATE: Following Thanksgiving weekend, Michigan reports 360,449 cases, 9,134 deaths

Dowagiac

SMC Foundation Board stakes annual appeal to Strong Start

Business

Business owners adapt to unusual Small Business Saturday

News

Niles woman sentenced for drug possession

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Town and Country Garden Club decorates downtown Dowagiac

Cass County

One injured by falling tree

News

City of Niles receives grant award for home repairs

Cass County

Two killed in Cass County house fire

Edwardsburg

Facebook matching offers ESC new opportunity on Giving Tuesday

Business

Sister Lakes Brewing Company to open Town Hall event space

Cassopolis

Cassopolis set to take a Christmas Cruise

Cassopolis

Village of Cassopolis approves resolution to co-sign EDA Grant for MEC

Business

Cassopolis manufacturer donates to ACTION Ministries

Cass County

Woodlands receives grant to provide support to inmates facing addiction

Education

Niles fine arts teacher awarded grant

Dowagiac

Dowagiac nonprofit donates Thanksgiving baskets to families in need

Giving

Drive-up Thanksgiving event serves 300

Cass County

Police investigating suspicious death of 29-year-old found in vehicle

Berrien County

Berrien County Farm Bureau donates turkeys to families in need

Berrien County

LMC continues remote delivery options for spring semester

Berrien County

23 animals adopted during Honor Credit Union’s Adoption Days at Berrien County Animal Control

Berrien County

Holidays, COVID-19 pose mental health stresses, experts say

News

Hometown Christmas at Amtrak Deport canceled

Berrien County

Niles MSP Post welcomes new commander