Dowagiac City Council extends Elks Trail grant deadline

DOWAGIAC — The City of Dowagiac has moved one step closer toward the realization of an outdoors project that has long been in the works.

The Dowagiac City Council unanimously approved the extension of the Elks Trail grant deadline to Nov. 30 during its meeting Monday at City Hall.

The extension is the latest in a series of moves the city and the Elks Club have been working towards in order to reach an agreement for the easement to build Elk’s Trail.

In December 2018, the city was awarded $56,000 by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to acquire the easement along the south side of Dowagiac Creek — between Cass Avenue and Riverside Drive  — and build a trail for access to an inaccessible stretch of the creek and to link eight miles of existing trails.

For more than 40 years, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has distributed more than $1 billion in grants going to park, trail and playground projects throughout the state.

According to City Manager Kevin Anderson, negotiations had been active prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the negotiations to come to a halt.

“This gives us an opportunity to extend that deadline and continue negotiations,” Anderson said.

The original grant deadline was set for May 31, and the city requested an extension of the acquisition grant. The Department of Natural Resources verbally granted the extension to give the city and the Elks time to work through the final offer, but the official extension paperwork only recently arrived.

The city has since renewed negotiations with the Elks to purchase the easement for the price of $4,182 as well as address several additional concerns of both the Elks and the city.

In other business, the city granted Southwestern Michigan College permission to partner with the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and the Dowagiac Police Department to facilitate Steve’s Run 2021, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9 in front of City Hall and take participants on a course that winds throughout the Dowagiac community.

Registration will be $1 for the Family Fun Run, $20 for the 5K Run or Walk and $25 for the 10K. Visit runsignup.com/StevesRun for online registration or to donate.

The 2020 race was hosted virtually July 25 through Aug. 1 during the pandemic. Historically, the race began and ended in downtown Dowagiac up through 2014, then moved to the SMC campus in 2015 before coming back to downtown Dowagiac this year.

According to SMC President Joe Odenwald, the decision to host the event in October would allow the college to pair the event with the Under The Harvest Moon Festival, which both the college and chamber of commerce hope will draw more runners to the race and more patrons to the festival.

“We’ll have full athletics next fall,” Odenwald said. “It’s all the more reason to be more visible in town and the community.”

Business

Event organizers, local dispensaries call inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival a success

Breaking News

Buchanan native Hannah Roberts takes silver in Olympics

News

PHOTO STORY: Inaugural Niles Cannabis Festival sells nearly 800 tickets

Cass County

Cass County Fair grand marshals are longtime advocates of the fair

Cass County

Fair organizers excited for fair after 2020 cancellation

Cass County

Fair guests in for a treat with main grounds entertainment

Cass County

COA’s Meals on Wheels program seeks delivery volunteers

Berrien County

Inaugural LIVESTRONG at the YMCA 5K to take place Aug. 7

Dowagiac

Purdue University Fort Wayne, SMC sign transfer agreement

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department offering COVID-19 vaccines at the Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Law enforcement, state leaders warn residents to be aware of rental scams

Berrien County

Southwest Michigan thrift stores seeing sharp increase in donations

News

Niles Township approves document scanning project

News

Virtual archaeology lecture series ends with look into Chevalier family

Berrien County

Salvation Army welcomes new majors

News

Community turns out to raise funds for teen battling rare condition

Berrien County

Berrien County health officials urge COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents

News

New dog park, garden coming to the Niles Housing Commission

Dowagiac

Ascension to require COVID-19 vaccination for associates

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg looking forward to inaugural art fair

Business

Niles Planning Commission approves special land use request for marijuana microbusiness

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 26-28

Dowagiac

Southwestern Michigan College’s accreditation reaffirmed through 2031

Business

Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Marking July 28 to Aug. 4 as Buy Michigan Week