Cassopolis, Wightman awarded for village transformation project

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — The transformation of a local village has earned statewide recognition.

The Village of Cassopolis and engineering firm Wightman received an Engineering and Surveying Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan for their collaboration on a series of downtown improvement projects completed in 2021.

Cassopolis Village President David Johnson, along with Village Manager Emilie LaGrow, Village Clerk Tonia Betty, Department of Public Works Superintendent Ben Anderson, Wightman President Matt Davis and several Wightman project managers accepted the award at the 2022 Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards Gala in Plymouth on Mar. 19.

“Honestly, it really is a beautiful thing for your team to get recognized for the work they do,” LaGrow said. “One of the things we have said all along is ‘just because you are a small rural community doesn’t mean you can’t be exceptional,’ and I think this proves what we’ve been saying.”

In the downtown area, the village completed a streetscape project, which included infrastructure work and a full makeover of the streets and sidewalks. The village also completed its Stone Lake project by adding a new beach, pier, pavilion and more. 

The village and Wightman also constructed a new municipal complex, featuring a 5,800 square foot Village Hall building and an attached 12,000 square foot building for DPW equipment.

“We don’t always have the big pot of money that some of the biggest communities have, or have the ability to go get some of those things,” LaGrow said. “I’m really proud of the team and the council – and even the residents who supported the efforts along the way. I think it’s beautiful that everyone who has been a force for positive change here gets to be recognized for that.”