Roseville DDA announces spending, financing plans

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 4, 2016

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ROSEVILLE — The Downtown Development Authority laid out its early spending proposals — which include sidewalk and lighting improvements, and increased safety — at a City Council meeting April 26.

According to Doug Piggott, of Rowe Professional Services, who gave the presentation, the DDA will be securing funding through tax increment financing. That sets the 2015 property taxes as a baseline for the downtown district, and the district captures any increases in tax values to fund improvements.

“The base value in 2015 for all the properties, both personal and real, in the DDA is calculated at $8.7 million,” Piggott said. “We did a very conservative estimate of the amount of money the DDA could expect to capture over 25 years — given the fact that property values have risen and dropped so dramatically throughout the state, we tried to be conservative — and we estimated a total of $2 million.”

Current proposals include generalized improvements to safety and security, adapting building uses through property acquisition, technical support for businesses wanting to improve their facades, energy-efficient ornamental lighting, putting up holiday lights, working with local groups to host events in the district, and making sidewalk improvements — particularly at the Utica and Gratiot intersection — Piggott said.

Piggott said the proposals are fairly broad and generalized at this time to provide as much flexibility as possible, as the DDA can technically only work on projects in that plan. The amount raised through the TIF would start small and, ideally, grow over time, with improvements spurring greater property tax growth and, in turn, more improvements.

The DDA is also eligible for grants, and the city could transfer money to it if the City Council agreed, Piggott said. It could also raise money through the sale and lease of property.

“(The current plan) provides other ideas for improvements down the road that may be appropriate,” he said. “In essence, they provide a large toolbox of tools for (the) DDA to leverage in the coming years as funds become available.”

The DDA district covers Gratiot Avenue between Martin and 12 Mile, and Utica between Martin and Birmingham Street, just north of 12 Mile. DDA funds can only be spent within that district.

City Manager Scott Adkins said the DDA’s proposed plans would be available at City Hall and on the city website, www.ci.roseville.mi.us. A second public hearing on the plans — after which they would be finalized — is currently scheduled for May 17 at City Hall.

Adkins said the city paid for Rowe Professional Services’ consulting on behalf of the DDA through the general fund’s community and economic development account.

“The DDA will eventually pay (for) it itself,” Adkins said. “In this case, work on the TIF plan was bid out to about $7,000 total for the work.”

He added that all DDA meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act as well, so the public can go and comment on plans going forward.

The DDA meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

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