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May 3, 2013

OUR VIEW: Twelve Mile shows community pride

At this week’s Cass County Community Foundation’s Town Hall meeting in Twelve Mile, 95 residents showed up.

Ninety-five.

That might not sound like a lot of people, but when you put it in perspective, the reality of 95 people becomes clear.

Because the community is an unincorporated township, population data is sketchy at best. The 2010 Census recorded the area by ZIP code only. Going by that number, there are 823 who live in Twelve Mile, give or take a few.

That means more than 10 percent of the town’s population turned out for a meeting aimed at bettering the community.

In this day and age, getting 10 percent of any population to do something is a feat in and of itself. It just shows the pride the residents have in their community.

And, if you can judge by the suggested improvements at the meeting, the community wants to share that pride with others. Some suggested signage that announces the community’s presence. Basically, as one resident put it, signs that say, “We’re here.”

Being such a small town, it’s easily overlooked, residents told the foundation at the meeting.

It’s something the foundation board seems to already be aware of. When looking at a map of pins marking scholarships or grants in the county, there’s “a great big hole” to the northwest side of Cass County, said Randy Head, senator and CCCF board member.

Those grants are even more important for towns like Twelve Mile because they don’t have a tax base from which to draw. The town’s functions are donation- supported, not taxpayer-supported.

So when they have wants and needs — adding new bleachers to their baseball fields, new roofs on park pavilions, new street lights and replacing some of the Christmas lights used for their pageant — there are few avenues through which to do it.

But, just by showing up en masse at the meeting, the town has already pulled down just shy of two grand from the foundation’s attendance grant program. That money will give the town some needed cash to start a project now while it thinks of other projects it would like to seek larger grants for in the future.

And, we think, having such an obviously engaged community should give Twelve Mile a head’s up on the competition.

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