LaGrow: Looking back, facing forward

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

As 2022 comes to an end and the beauty of the Christmas lights glisten throughout the Village, it shines a light on all that we have accomplished throughout the year.  It has been an exciting and award-winning year for the Village, where the community’s dedication, work and collaboration for the Imagine Cass projects were recognized throughout the state.  This year, the Village and our team received the following awards:

  • American Council of Engineering Award for our new Streetscape.
  • American Institute of Architects Award for our new building.
  • Cass/Vandalia Chamber of Commerce Visionary Award.
  • Graham Woodhouse Intergovernmental Effort Award – recognizing the collaborative nature of our projects (21 partnerships and 25 grant funding sources utilized throughout our Imagine Cass projects!).
  • CDC Water Fluoridation Quality Award – for consistently exceeding the CDC recommendations for community water supplies.
  • Moody on the Market 40 under 40 to our own Alexis O’Flynn recognizing her significant contribution to our team.

Rounding out the awards this year was the Michigan Municipal League Community Excellence Award for the State of Michigan! (The smallest community and only Village to ever win the award!) 

It was not all about awards for work and projects that were already completed in the Village this year, it was also about keeping the momentum and excitement that was created throughout Imagine Cass and continuing to propel our community, our residents, and our businesses forward.  

This past year, the village completed phase two of the N. O’Keefe Road reconstruction project, resurfaced two miles of local/side streets and added a fantastic new poured in place Skate Park with an additional obstacle course at Clisbee Park.  Our team secured grants to complete some needed rehabilitation on four homes in the Village through the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, secured $300,000 for Village residents needing homeowner assistance through the MI-Hope Program, helped two downtown business owners receive $25,000 grants each through the Match on Main program and one incoming business receive a $25,000 grant through the Redevelopment Ready Program.  

With such a fantastic 2022, what is to come in 2023?  As we look ahead at 2023, we are excited for new employment opportunities for our community with the opening of Hydro Aluminum as the first tenant in our new SMART Park and the completion of the CHT expansion, combining to bring approximately 100 new jobs to the village.  We are eagerly awaiting the opening of two new additions to our dining options with Ploughman’s Deli and a new brewery coming to the old fire station.

As we close out 2022, the Village is thankful for all the blessings that have come our way, grateful for all the partners and volunteers that have supported us throughout the year and blessed to have a community that our residents are proud to call home.

Emilie G. LaGrow, Esq.

Village Manager

Village of Cassopolis