New members appointed to the Downtown Development Authority

DOWAGIAC — The Downtown Development Authority will be welcoming some new faces after the Dowagiac City Council approved three new business owners at its Monday night meeting.

Mayor Pro-tem Leon Laylin made the motion to appoint Cathy Frantz, of the Marshall Shoppe, for a term to expire January 2023; Jeff Neuman, of Farm Bureau Insurance, for a term to expire January 2022; and Kelli Casey, of the Cass County Council on Aging, for a term to expire January 2021. The Downtown Development Authority was created by the city of Dowagiac in 1986 to address the downtown area.

Also Monday:

  • An event request was approved by the city council to allow fireworks at the Dowagiac Union High School homecoming parade. No concerns were raised by councilmembers.
  • A resolution to authorize the Class and Compensation Schedule for non-bargaining employees for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal year was unanimously passed by the city council. City Manager Kevin Anderson said regularly, the fiscal condition of the city and what inflation rates are. A 2 percent increase was deemed appropriate to adjust the scale. Anderson added there is room within the scale to move, based on performance activities and reviews.
  • A resolution to finalize budget amendments for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal year ending on Sept. 30. Anderson said, overall, with the final budget amendments, funds are going to see an improved fund balance. Utility increases were made due to capital projects that are now in the works. Anderson also said stronger revenue went into the road funds.
  • The city council also passed a resolution to authorize an amendment to an agreement with F&V Operations for the operation and maintenance duties of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. F&V Operations was brought in three years ago by the city to take a leadership role to confirm the city stay in compliant with various permits within the wastewater treatment plant. As part of a deal, F&V Operations took over the leadership role and training. F&V Operations kept two employees on staff and the city of Dowagiac had two employees. After the retirement of one of the city’s employees this year. The city approved that F&V Operations hire a new person in the role. Anderson said the city sat down with a bargaining unit to work through how the city could make sure there would be no loss of jobs. At the same time, there was a vacancy for a position in the public works department. The city has two and a half years left on its contract with F&V Operations.
  • A public hearing date was set for 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 to discuss the proposed city of Dowagiac Park and Open Space Plan. During councilmember questions, councilmember Patrick Bakeman asked if the old Gray Street site could be added to the discussion. Anderson said it would be a worthwhile conversation to have included in the recreational plan.
  • A resolution was unanimously passed to authorize a special assessment in alignment with the Dowagiac City Code for the purpose of abating deteriorating property conditions. Mayor Donald Lyons said the resolution is a routine item but pertains to both structures and ground maintenance.
  • It was also announced by Anderson that construction had begun on Schuur Park, located at Cass Avenue and Dowagiac Creek.

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