Cassopolis Village Council conducts final 2023 meeting

Published 8:22 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — The final regular meeting of 2023 of the Cassopolis Village Council was relatively quiet, with a small audience, a short agenda, and only a few items of discussion.

During the approval of invoices totaling $167,640.34, Trustee Pedersen raised questions about three items. The first was an item listed as a Property Tax Assessment by Clark Hill PLC, totaling $15,852.05. Village Manager Emilie LaGrow explained the charge was for legal fees by the Clark Hill firm for the handling of a tax tribunal case regarding the property at 901 State Street. 

The second item was for the license renewal of LaGrow with the State Bar of Michigan, which the village pays so the manager, who is also an attorney, can handle small legal items for the village as opposed to paying an outside firm. Both Pedersen and LaGrow noted that this accounts for significant savings for the village. The final item was a clarification on ammunition purchased for the police department.

Trustee Makay questioned the use of The Elkhart Truth newspaper for a recent public hearing notification. Staff explained that, though they attempt to put the required notices into more local newspapers, the deadline for such submissions do not always allow for such placement. The Elkhart paper resides within the allowed distance for such notices.

During public comment, an owner of properties at 212 and 214 South Disbrow provided materials showing improvements made since their purchase of the condemned property and invited the village to inspect it. It was noted that the deadline for compliance had already passed and the matter was now a legal one out of the council’s hands. The council was unable to  respond directly during public comment, though Trustee Pedersen noted that he shared the owner’s frustration.

The council briefly discussed rumors of a sale of Snow Lake Manor in effort to have a response for residents with questions. LaGrow noted that the village had very little official information on the situation.

Due to the regular date falling on Christmas Day this month, the village workshop meeting is canceled. The next council meeting will take place on Jan. 8, 2024.