Roseville approves Downtown Development Authority

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 22, 2015

 The area around the former Roseville Theatre in the Utica Junction should see tax revenue captured to help improve the new DDA district.

The area around the former Roseville Theatre in the Utica Junction should see tax revenue captured to help improve the new DDA district.

Photo by Kevin Bunch


ROSEVILLE — With a unanimous vote of the entire City Council Oct. 13, the city of Roseville officially created its Downtown Development Authority.

The authority covers the Utica Junction around Gratiot Avenue and Utica Road.

City Manager Scott Adkins said the vote established the boundaries of the DDA, the powers of the DDA board of directors, its fiscal year and compliance with state statutes governing such authorities.

Adkins said the city had gotten the ball rolling earlier this year, following state guidelines on publicizing the proposed DDA, holding town hall meetings for the affected property owners and holding a 60-day comment period from its last vote in August on the issue.

“We did receive some in-office visits and phone calls supporting it,” Adkins said. “We did not receive anything in opposition, and nothing from the taxing authorities, so (we heard) no opposition.”

During the Aug. 11 meeting, Department of Community and Economic Development Director Jason Friedmann said that a portion of the taxes paid on the properties within the authority would be retained and held in a special fund in a process called tax increment financing. The state still receives the same amount it gets now for those properties, but additional funds from increasing property values would stay with the DDA.

“It’s the revenue that results from a change in the taxable value,” Friedmann said at the meeting. “The city collects taxes as it does now, and as property values go up, that increment (difference) goes into a fund to be spent on the DDA.”

That TIF money would be used for specific projects within the DDA district. Projects could include infrastructure repairs and upgrades, or setting up a grant program to help business owners beautify their properties, Friedmann said.

Adkins said the next step is to appoint people to the DDA board of directors. He said the city is looking at getting nine people for the board, five of whom must either be residents, business owners or employees within the district itself. The City Manager’s Office is accepting letters of interest and applications at this time.

At the same time, the city is drafting initial board bylaws and a TIF plan, both of which will be on the DDA board’s first agenda when it convenes. Adkins said that ideally the first appointments to the board will take place in November.

“Those will be the first items of discussion with the new board, and then we’ll move forward for adoption,” Adkins said. “Then we’ll go on to the first projects, which could be simple projects — dealing with landscaping or parking or development ideas. We’re going to start rolling right out of the chute.”

The council also unanimously voted to repeal an ordinance that was passed in 1997 establishing a DDA at Kelly Road. Adkins said it was never utilized and no taxes were ever captured with it, but the ordinance still needed to be repealed before the new district could be established.

“Back in 1997, the city was intending on using the DDA legislation to help some new developments along Kelly Road,” Adkins said. “They did set up the district for that purpose, but they found other kinds of funding to make that happen, so the DDA was never formally established other than by ordinance.”