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Downtown Development Authority

 

What is the Downtown Development Authority (DDA)?

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a board of volunteers with the responsibility and authority to apply captured tax dollars to improve Bridgeport Township. And yes, this board is the only board or authority in this Township that serves without compensation.

The opening paragraph of Act 197 of 1975 reads as follows:

An ACT to provide for the establishment of a downtown development authority; to prescribe its powers and duties; to correct and prevent deterioration in business districts; to encourage historic preservation; to authorize the acquisition and disposal of interests in real and personal property; to authorize the creation and implementation of development plans in the districts; to promote the economic growth of the districts; to create a board; to prescribe its powers and duties; to authorize the levy and collection of taxes; to authorize the issuance of bonds and other evidences of indebtedness; to authorize the use of tax increment financing; to reimburse downtown development authorities for certain losses of tax increment revenues; and to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state officials.

Even presenting the Act’s topic paragraph by line item leaves us with questions as to what the DDA is all about. In short, the DDA is created primarily to correct and prevent deterioration in business districts and to encourage historic preservation! Yes, there is more but this is the primary objective of the DDA.

Funding for DDA projects is accomplished by “Capturing” dollars that would otherwise be paid to Saginaw County, Delta College, Bridgeport Township and the Bridgeport Township Library. Captured dollars for 2010 are about $331,000 with recurring expense commitments (including sewer bond payments) at about $246,000. This leaves about $85,000 for projects and infrastructure improvements. Taxpayer’s taxes are not increased (although the authority is there) but without an authorized Downtown Development District, these monies would not be available for projects within Bridgeport Township.

Simply put, the DDA uses money that otherwise would leave the Township to improve business infrastructure while following a complex set of guidelines. A business plan must be prepared and approved every five years to document the plans for improvements within the DDA District.

This plan and Act 197 are available for review upon advanced request at the Bridgeport Township Office. For questions or additional information, submit a “Request to be on the Agenda” and the DDA will be happy to address your request item.

Bridgeport Township Downtown Development Authority June 5, 2010.