Dowagiac City Council approves agreement with MDOT, looks to amend utility ordinance

DOWAGIAC — Monday, the Dowagiac City Council looked at making changes both at the airport and in parts of an existing utility ordinance.

Meeting via Zoom, the Dowagiac City Council approved a number of business items during its regularly scheduled meeting Monday. First on the agenda was the approval of a resolution to authorize an agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the construction of a hangar at the Dowagiac Municipal Airport.

Per the Office of Aeronautics, the Dowagiac Municipal Airport is eligible for grant funds to assist with the construction of a six T Hangar. Most of the project will be funded through federal and state financial resources. Bids have been received and vetted by the city’s engineer and MDOT, and the city is now in a position to execute agreements and begin construction soon, according to City Manager Kevin Anderson.

The anticipated cost of the project is $583,105, and the city’s share is $25,505.

“This is a big project,” Anderson said. “This is a project that has been in the making for quite a while now, but like most of our projects at the airport, it takes some time.”

The resolution was approved unanimously by the council.

Also Monday, Dowagiac City Council hosted the first reading to amend sections 82-1 and 82-7 regarding utility services and deposits. The changes reflect an improved process for handling new and existing utility customers when new city utility accounts are pulled, according to a memo sent to city council by the city manager.

“For the most part, this is just to clean up inconsistency found within the existing ordinance,” Anderson said. “This will offer additional clarity.”

According to utility billing/customer service supervisor Emily Cornwell, the purpose of the amendments is to simplify the utility deposit system while continuing to have utility deposits that reflect actual risk should a customer not pay on an account.

A second reading of the ordinance is anticipated to take place at the next city council meeting, after which council members will be able to vote on the matter.

In other business:

  • The council approved a resolution to authorize the sale of a property on Wooden and Wolf streets to Rosemary Smith for the construction of a new single-family residence.
  • The council approved an event request from the Cass County Council on Aging to host an ice cream social from 6 to 7 p.m. July 22 on the lawn at the James E. Snow building, located across from city hall.