TO:                  Village Council

FROM:             Debbie Powell, Village Manager

DATE:             August 24, 2018

RE:                  Manager’s Report August 2018

Public Utilities:

With the retirement of DPW Superintendent Gary Barnes on July 31st, there have been some changes in the organizational structure and daily operations for Water and Wastewater. Dennis McCabe, our former Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent, is the Director of Public Utilities overseeing both Water and Wastewater in an administrative capacity. We have three working Deputy Superintendents for 1) Wastewater, 2) DPW Streets, and 3) DPW Water. It is always difficult when an employee such as Gary leaves with their vast experience and institutional knowledge. Staff is working together well to meet the needs of these departments. I will be meeting with employees regularly to proactively address issues and concerns for effective operations.

Sidewalk Replacement:

The Village will be replacing segments of broken or hazardous sidewalk this fall. The Village has a list of areas to be replaced, based off of water/sewer work and resident requests. There has not been any sidewalk work completed in approximately 10 years. Therefore, the $5,000 budgeted in the Capital Improvement Plan for 2018 is not sufficient to repair the immediate hazards. I personally toured the locations where sidewalk replacement was requested, and was very surprised at the terrible condition of the sidewalks. We will plan to replace sidewalks annually starting with this fall. As such, a budget amendment with the recommended contractor quote will be presented to you in September.


The Village of Cass City website is in the process of being updated by Abadata, our Information Systems/Technology Contractor. You may remember, the Village received an I-69 Thumb Region Community Website Grant in the amount of $1,000. The website is still in beta format and final changes are being made. It is scheduled to go live the last week of August. Check it out at

Manager’s Report
August 24, 2018


I attended the First Impressions: Tourism Assessment (FIT) Program Kick Off Meeting on August 16, 2018. We held a web conference call with Andy Northrup of MSU Extension concerning the FIT grant and project. We discussed the roles and responsibilities of our “Community Leadership Team.” Visitors for the MSU FIT Team will be visiting Cass City over the next several weeks and scoring the Village on several aspects. Subsequent to the evaluation period, the public will be invited to a Community Report Forum in the Fall when the evaluation information will be shared with all. Look for more information to be forthcoming.

At the DDA Meeting on August 14, 2018 we discussed the wind damage to the cultural center roof and the recent insurance claim that was submitted. The building was toured and recommendations for repair to the roof and masonry were suggested. The DDA is considering future use of the cultural center.

After the Rotary Meeting on August 21, 2018, I toured the new addition of the Hills & Dales Hospital along with other Rotarians. The patient rooms were in warm neutral tones and designed for only one patient.  Technology and functionality were obvious key considerations with the new addition.  The visitor and patient care areas will serve our community well for years to come.  I do not want to give too much away, you will definitely have to see for yourself. 

Cass River Greenway Clean Up on August 18, 2018

I participated in the Cass River Greenway Clean Up event on August 18. The weather was perfect; however, the turnout was low.  I was part of a four-person team which included Trustee Barrios assigned to clean up a mile stretch of the Cass River.  Unfortunately the water level for a large portion of the route was low and we had to push, pull and drag the canoe along the waterway. I was surprised by the number of passenger vehicle and tractor tires in the river.  I expected bottles, cans, bait containers, etc. and there was hardly any other trash, just tires.  We were able to dig out and place for later pickup 14 tires, as we could not float the tires to the removal location.  We had to leave at least another 14 tires in the water.  All in all, it was a great experience and I recommend spending time on the Cass River.   The untouched beauty of nature, the flowers and lush greenery with the natural rocky riverbed was quite a sight to behold and enjoy. 

Pool Activities

The Helen Stevens Memorial Pool is closed for the season. Staffing is always a problem when school starts because we lose our lifeguards.  The pool is currently being drained with plans to tear out the defective liner next week.  The Village will seek bids to repair the pool with hopes that it can be open the summer of 2019. 

Manager’s Report
August 24, 2018

Pool Activities Continued

A Pool Fundraising Committee will be established with the intent to fundraise for the pool renovation, equipment upgrades, pool building updates in the women’s locker room, and cement reconstruction. The pool and above referenced work will be Phase I.   Phase II will consist of fundraising for an adjacent outdoor waterpark. 



I would like to extend a big thank you to our co-op from Cass City High School, Kate Pohlod. Kate took on a big project this summer and completed it timely, efficiently, and with great care.  Kate was asked to scan the Department of Public Works index card file and make electronic copies of all these records.   The DPW index cards were the ONLY copy of our underground utility infrastructure network, and the information they contained was irreplaceable.  Thanks to Kate, we now have an electronic back up of this critical information.  Thanks for all your hard work Kate!  Great Job!