Cassopolis Named Finalist in Michigan Municipalities League Competition – Leader Publications

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CASSOPOLIS — At a special meeting Monday night, the Cassopolis Village Council approved a pair of agenda items and learned it had been named a finalist in a Michigan Municipalities League competition.
In new business, the board approved a Uniform Guidance for Federal Grants and a Uniform Guidance for Liens. Both were approved unanimously. The village president, David Johnson, was not present at the meeting.
Uniform guidance for the federal grant states that once a municipality or non-federal entity receives more than $750,000 of federal money in a fiscal year, it is subject to additional government regulations, according to Cassopolis Village Clerk Tonia Betty.
“These are the policies and procedures when it happens regarding our financial systems, payments, purchases, etc.,” she said.
The Uniform Guidelines for Liens [Law Enforcement Information Network] is for the police department and relates to the policies and procedures for being part of the network.
“This includes how to protect what personal information is reviewed and who is responsible for what,” Betty said.
Before giving her updates, Cassopolis Village Superintendent Emilie LaGrow told council that Cassopolis had been named a finalist for the MML Community Excellence Awards, which will be decided at the MML convention in Muskegon in October.
Cassopolis was to prepare an application by May 13 that highlighted local successes and best practices, as well as sharing innovative community programs or projects.
LaGrow said the entry was based on the community’s Imagine Cass project which revitalized the downtown core, added a beach and pier, and other projects.
A small voting committee for the MML selected four finalists, of which Cassopolis was one of them. The others were Farmington Hills, Traverse City and Royal Oak.
The last part of the competition will take place during the annual conference. Cassopolis will have to create a video representing his project on the main stage, then market his projects on a stand, where he will try to convince people to vote for the village to win the prize.
All final votes will take place at the conference.
“We went up against heavyweights, communities that had lots of money and lots of resources,” LaGrow said. “Who hired companies for this package together that we did internally. Our team — Alexis [O’Flynn]Tonya and Ben [Anderson] spent hours and hours on this project.
The council also received an update from Ted Gogel of the Stone Lake Improvement Board on the treatment of Stone Lake in 2022 to control invasive species.
The lake undergoes a two-step approach – chemical treatment, which is used sparingly, mainly to kill invasive species that cannot be harvested mechanically, which is the second step in the process.
The treatments, which began in 2017, have been proven. Gogel said two more inspections of the lake will take place later this year to assess the progress of treatments.
In other cases:
• LaGrow informed council that the village, after reviewing its Unum [insurance] that he would switch to Mutual of Omaha, which would save the village money.
• LaGrow said a new artist has been selected to complete the mural on the retaining wall behind The Twirl which faces the beach.
• LaGrow advised the Board that Stone Lake Beach Phase 2 is in the early planning stages but is moving forward.

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