Dowagiac City Council approves 2023 tax levy

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — Dowagiac City Council officials voted unanimously on Monday night to approve the 2023 Tax Levy for the City of Dowagiac. 

With inflation rising and costs increasing by the day, city officials held a public hearing in order to approve an increase on property taxes.

“If we want to keep the same millage rate as what we had last year, we have to hold one of these public hearings, and we do every year,” said City Manager Kevin Anderson. “If we don’t hold one of these hearings, we have to go back and collect the same amount of money that we collected last year.”

Anderson said that this will increase revenue by about 6.4 percent and will allow the city to continue operations as usual. 

All council officials voted to approve the new millage rate  after a public hearing and roll call vote.

In other business, a resolution was approved to get council support for a grant with the Cass County Land Bank. Council support will enable the city’s plan to move forward with the removal of the Lincoln School building and two other properties located in the South Front Redevelopment Area. 

With the approval, various city officials and Mayor Donald Lyons will provide the state with letters of support for the demolition of these buildings as one of the final steps towards approval and completion. 

“We are chasing some of these letters down so we can show there is active and complete support for this demolition,” Anderson said. 

Additionally, the council voted to approve a resolution updating the Vehicle Accessibility Plan for the City of Dowagiac’s Dial-A-Ride Transit. As a result of the resolution, three DART vehicles will remain in use that are able to service senior citizens or individuals with disabilities in the area. No special requests will need to be made in order for members of these populations to receive service. 

The council also voted to approve improvements to the City Hall building’s drainage systems after issues with water entering the basement. The work is expected to cost $26,860 and will be done by a local excavating business. 

Appointments for the Building Authority and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority were made after the previous appointments expired. These authorities will cover various planning and financing duties. Anderson said he anticipates that these appointments will be active over the next year.

Mayor Lyons said he is confident in the abilities of these appointments. 

The meeting concluded after all council members authorized the City Treasurer to pay bills and payroll totaling $978,293.31.