Board authorizes recreation of DDA

FLINT TWP. — Acting on a unanimous recommendation from its Economic Development Corporation, the township board voted to move forward on recreating a Downtown Development Authority that would oversee a variety of improvements such as parks, street lighting, traffic lights, fire equipment, policing, beautification, attracting new businesses and more.

The township formerly operated a Central Business Development Authority until circa 2004 when it was disbanded.

This week the township board authorized Tracey Tucker, the economic enhancement director, to work with a planner from Rowe Professional Services to develop a Resolution of Intent and ordinance for the proposed DDA. That involves determining a legal description of the DDA’s boundaries, drafting an ordinance and setting public hearings. Additional steps include mailing certified notices to all affected taxpayers within the proposed district’s boundaries and also notifying affected governing bodies and allowing them a 60-day opt out period.

DDA funding comes from various tax captured sources including a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Plan.

The township board also selected Rowe as the preliminary planner for the DDA documents, counter to the EDC’s request to put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) to give more companies an opportunity to compete in the process.

Township Treasurer Lisa Anderson, who also sits on the EDC, asked why the RFP request was not being honored.

Rowe is the township’s planner of record. Tucker said she has worked well with them and that using their services would expedite the process because they already are familiar with the township’s operations. She said that an RFP could be used later in the planning process and is required to apply for state funding, in some instances.

“I know that Rowe has been our planner for some time and has done a good job,” said Trustee Frank Kasle, who made the motion to choose Rowe.

Trustee Tom Klee also voiced his support for Rowe, adding that it has a history of working with the township and he did not see a need to “reinvent the wheel.”

The board voted unanimously to use Rowe. Trustee Barb Vert was absent.

Douglas Piggott, Rowe senior planner, provided some preliminary costs for its planning services.

Drafting the ordinance and attending the meeting should not cost more than $1,000 unless a boundary map is requested, which can cost up to $2000.

The cost of the TIF and Development Plans are based on the amount of detail and the number of parcels in the DDA. Rowe has prepared plans for other municipalities that ranged from $5,000 to $20,000, Piggott said, adding that he estimated the township’s cost to be closer to the higher price range.

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