Residents express happiness with Cassopolis’ progress

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — Progress in the village was a topic throughout Monday’s Cassopolis Village Council meeting.

Several citizens spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting on a variety of subjects, with multiple speakers taking a moment to express their view that the village was going through positive changes. The Imagine Cass Project was noted several times as both a source of the transformation, as well as a continuing project that will bring more change in the future.

Trustee James Pedersen, who is currently running for Village President, invited everyone to join future Imagine Cass meetings. He later noted his agreement that things are going well in Cassopolis, stating that “Council can be proud of the new businesses and expansion of existing ones, jobs and opportunities, the beach, the fishing pier and upgrades at Clisbee Park, all in the last four years. One big flaw is the extreme shortage of affordable, quality housing. We should have broken ground years ago on permanent housing for all the new workers. We have to shift gears and make permanent housing for our residents a higher priority.”

“I’m happy to say the progress continues in Cassopolis,” Trustee Asali Kelly later added. “Largely in part with the open and diverse minds we have at the table these days. The board, our administrators, led by Emilie, our Main Street Committee ventures, continue to get our community name out there in many ways. The newest venture that brings me pride is creating more equally accessible, safe, new long term housing for our community members.”

During her report, Village Manager Emilie LaGrow noted that additional Imagine Cass meetings would take place in the late summer or early fall. A current focus is the Imagine Center Community Collab, which includes ongoing discussions regarding the possibility of a new community center to provide a variety of services.

LaGrow also announced that repairs to State Street would begin soon and were intended to be complete this year.

Also discussed was possible participation with other local municipalities in the Rural Readiness Network, a state-led effort to unite rural communities to combine efforts and resources to help all achieve their goals. Participation would likely involve the creation of a local task force who would then meet and brainstorm desired initiatives and policies that would be given to the Office of Rural Development to be presented to the governor.

LaGrow also announced that she and Village President David Johnson attended the the Market One Annual Awards Event to accept the “Municipal Trailblazer of the Year” award on behalf of the village.

Stone Lake Improvement Board Chairman Ted Gogol presented reports and plans regarding recent surveys of the lake and plans to tend to the presence of algae and Milfoil vegetation around the dock. Chemical treatment to kill the plant will take place on Wednesday, June 19th in the morning. Signage will be posted in the area, as swimming and boating will not be allowed that day. Such activities can disrupt the chemical process. According to Gogol, the chemical used is not harmful to swimmers and has “zero impact” on fish and has been in use for a decade. After a question was raised by Trustee Pedersen, Gogol reported that the vote on the lake treatment plans had been conducted via email.

During Public Comment, James V Bronke announced his intent to run for the 5th Michigan District of the United States Congress for the November 5th election under the Green Party.

Near the end of the meeting, the council went into a closed session to discuss what was listed as “Pending litigation” in the agenda.

The next Cassopolis Village Council meeting will take place on Monday, July 8th at 6pm in the Council Chambers at 121 N Disbrow. The next Cassopolis Area Utilities Authority Meeting will take place at 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 17 at the Village Hall. The next Council Workshop Meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, June 24 at the Village Hall. Information regarding Imagine Cass can be found at Announcements regarding the lake and other village news can be found at