Cassopolis helping businesses, residents improve their properties

CASSOPOLIS — Business and property owners in Cassopolis are taking advantage of grant money to help improve their facades and their homes.

The village of Cassopolis received a $45,000 grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for neighborhood enhancements. The community’s Main Street Committee is also giving out grants after partnering with Indiana-Michigan Power and K&M, of Cassopolis.

It is the second year of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, which came out of the Imagine Cass Embrace the Vision Initiative. Last year, the village received $30,000, which allowed leadership to fund two new roofs, siding for a home, a new porch, a new garage door and a new front deck for the residents who applied and received the money.

This year, the grant totals $45,000.

“We just drew the names for that,” said village manager Emilie Sarratore. “So, that means eight residents are going to get $5,625 each. Last year, we did four residents at about $7,400 each. This time, we were considered a high performer, so we got an additional $15,000. We lowered the amount a little bit to get a few more people in.”

Sarratore said that being able to do that is great because it is money that goes straight to the homeowners.

“It really allows them to do some stuff,” she said. “The four grants that were used last year were amazing. We were able to do some things for people who really needed it.”

This year, there were approximately 80 residents who applied for the grant money.

To date, the Main Street Committee has awarded three grants. One went to the new owners who are working on the building at 144 Broadway St., for the front façade, new windows and doors; one went to the Stephen K. Woods Law office for windows; and the other was awarded to The Smile Center for new awnings.

Another project that was partially funded by a $15,000 grant was the alleyway between Hayden Hardware and Veterans of Foreign Wars William E. Lozier Post 10704. The entire project cost $30,000 and was completed in early December.

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