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.

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community

Berrien County

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children

Buchanan

Buchanan District Library awarded American Library Association grant

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees prepares for Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation visit

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths

Dowagiac

No danger found following lockdown at DUHS

News

Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff

Berrien County

Buchanan man named 911 Telecommunicator of the Year

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man arrested for possession of meth

Education

Niles teacher accused of assault pleads not guilty

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: April 7-13

Berrien County

LMC to host virtual career, program expo for prospective students

Dowagiac

Dowagiac woman to compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ 2021 Tournament of Champions

Business

Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon-tying ceremonies for two new businesses

Dowagiac

Four arrested in Dowagiac drug search

Berrien County

Niles city, DART consider south county expansion