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Archive | City Hall Corner

Unsung Heroes: the Planning Commission

Many people don’t know how local governments work for the betterment of the community. I sure didn’t before I got involved in local government operations. In high school civics class, we are taught about the federal government with the President, the Courts and the Congress but nary a word about Mayors, City Councils, City Managers or the various working mechanisms of how things work at the local level. Very few people know the difference between a “Strong Mayor” government and a Council-Manager government.

I want to talk today about planning commissions (PC) and what that board and its members do for the City. PC’s are not a required board under state or local laws but a majority of municipalities use some form of a planning commission to lessen the burden on the City Council of running the City. The PC is generally tasked with the planning and zoning of a municipality according the rules outlined in both state and local laws, primary of which is the Zoning Enabling Act (MCL 125.3801). 

“Planning and zoning” is a shorthand way of saying that the PC helps establish goals and policies for directing and managing future growth and development in the City; including such things as location of growth, housing needs, and environmental protection.  Planning helps account for future demand for services, including sewers, roads, and fire protection and zoning is what helps keep factories away from homes and homes away from fast food restaurants.

Two of the primary tasks that the PC members work on are the approval of new development site plans and the in-depth review and recommendation of planning and zoning law changes to the City Council.  Site plan reviews are where the PC reviews the proposed plans for new developments and businesses to ensure that they are meeting all local rules and requirements (while not burdening businesses with overregulation). For instance, the PC makes sure that proposed driveways are safe, that dumpsters are enclosed and hidden from the public, that there is sufficient but not too much parking, that lighting is bright enough but not shining in your bedroom window and lots of other details about each new development. The second part, the in-depth review and recommendations on planning and zoning rule changes, are a major factor in boosting economic development, encouraging business and simultaneously ensuring that basic requirements are being met. The PC members spend a lot of time educating themselves and discussing what are the best practices and best methods to ensure high-quality development in the City.  

The PC members all live inside the City, work regular jobs and represent a good cross-section of the population. They are appointed by the City Council and they work with the City Planner, City Engineer, City Attorney and Zoning Administrator to get their job done. PC membership is an awesome way to serve the community and lots of PC members go on to serve on the City Council in an elected role. Their job isn’t easy and their decisions don’t always make everybody happy but they are hard working and looking out for the best and long-term interests of the City.  If we go by the definition of “doing great deeds but receiving little or no recognition,” that well defines the Planning Commission.  

Their meetings are always open to the public and they like when people come to watch. The Cedar Springs PC usually meets once a month on the first Tuesday at 7 p.m. in City Hall. Their agendas and packets are available on the City’s website and their meetings are broadcast live and recorded on Youtube so you can watch all that excitement in your pjs at home if you would prefer. Finally, all those rumors about where that new store might go or whether that hole in the ground will become a gas station or a carwash—talk  to a PC member, they’ll probably know.

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Busy-busy small-town Cedar Springs

City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

During the 2019 Red Flannel Festival I was approached by somebody who hadn’t been in town for 5 years and they put it perfectly and succinctly when they said: “Boy, things sure have changed in Cedar.”

The last several years have seen lots of positive changes in Cedar Springs, the new library and amphitheater building, new sidewalks, newly built homes, lots of new businesses and changes in leadership at both the school district and the city government. With all of the changes that have occurred over the last couple of years I think that it is important to keep the public informed about various other projects being worked on in the City. Some of the things going on in the City include:

Cedar Springs Dental at 20 East Church St. is in site plan review to enlarge the size of their building.

O’Reilly Auto Parts is in site plan review to build a new store at 4288 17 Mile Road (south of the Taco Bell).

Kent County just announced a $12.5 million dollar, 30,000 square foot facility at 4233 17 Mile Road (between Taco Bell and Advanced Auto) which will house police operations and health clinic services, expected to open in late 2021.

The Cedar Springs New Fire Station is accepting bids and should break ground this year with an anticipated Spring 2021 opening.

The Cedar Springs West Street project to develop a business park is currently in engineering and expected to break ground and finish in Fall, 2020.

The Holiday Inn Express being built on White Creek Ave. expects to open May 15th, 2020.

City Hall is working with the Downtown Development Authority and supporting sponsors to develop a summer music and entertainment series to be played at the Heart of Cedar Springs Amphitheater starting in June, 2020.

City Hall is trying to design and arrange for funding for a dog park in Riggle Park and for a new basketball court in Morley Park.

The City Council has asked to see an ordinance to review that would allow marijuana businesses to operate in the City.

The City is again looking forward to the “Run Michigan Cheap” folks for their runs on June 27th and a local group is working on developing a large bicycle race with music and beer.

City Hall is trying to identify a good location and funding for a splash pad in the city (splash pads are surprisingly expensive and hard to find a good location for).

City Hall is working with the Community Building Development team to design, fund and install a natural playground in the Heart of Cedar Springs (near the amphitheater).

The Downtown Development Authority is reviewing options for public art in the downtown, including options such as a wall mural or sculptures.

The Downtown Development Authority is looking at options for new trash cans and benches to line Main St. to update the streetscape and Main St. image.

Second St. is scheduled for resurfacing similar to what was done on First St. in 2019. Several blocks of local streets will also be resurfaced in 2020.

In 2021, the Main Street Bridge between Pine St. and Oak St. is expected to be rebuilt. This is likely to cause significant rerouting around the area for a lengthy period of time.

In 2023, Main Street from Church St. north to 18 Mile (minus the bridge area) will be resurfaced. This project should only take a couple of days.

Lots of other good stuff going on but these are some of the highlights.  If you have questions, thoughts or concerns about any of these projects or other things going on in the City, feel free to contact me at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org

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Pee-eww, rotten egg smell

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager 

A common complaint that City Hall receives is about the smell of rotten eggs/sulphur, that the scent is just lingering in the air, indoors or outside, or that it is associated with the water supply.  There are three major sources that may contribute to the smell of rotten eggs in a home or apartment and those are a natural gas leak, sewer drain lines and hot water heaters.

Natural gas, which is used to heat your home and is used to cook on your stove, does not have a natural scent.  Due to the flammable nature of natural gas, the utility providers add a smell to it using a harmless but stinky sulfur-compound, mercaptan, to make it easier to detect.  If you suspect that you might have a natural gas leak it is important to track it down and stop the leak, check all of your gas appliances and their connections, turn off natural gas valves and contact your utility provider for additional support.

A sewer drain line can cause a rotten egg smell indoors or outdoors, although both are fairly rare.  Indoor plumbing uses several techniques for preventing sulphur gases from entering the home but some common problems are a dry P-trap, a crack/break in the drain line or a plug or backup in the sewer line.  The P-trap is the little squiggly-thingy under your sinks and showers. Its task is to trap water and the water then prevents sewer gases from exiting up through your drain line.  If that P-trap is dry or broken in some way, it won’t work properly.  Make sure that your P-traps are holding water and aren’t cracked or compromised.  Also, you may need to check your sewer line into your basement or crawl space and make sure that it isn’t leaking anywhere.  Drain line plugs happen rarely (more often if you flush “disposable” wipes or any of the other weird stuff we find in the sewers) but a sewer blockage can be a huge problem for your home.  If you have water back-flowing into your home, please call the Department of Public Works as soon as possible so that they can assist you.  Unfortunately, the blockage often occurs in the sewer lateral, the part maintained by the homeowner between the home and the main sewer line (and the homeowner would have to pay to fix) but the Department of Public Works is happy to help diagnose the problem and help where they can.  If your plumbing is functioning correctly, you shouldn’t smell the sewer inside your home.  If you catch that sulphur odor outdoors in the community, please call the Department of Public Works (616-696-1330) and report where that smell is occurring.

Finally, sometimes there is a distinct rotten egg odor in your home’s water but that funk is almost never a problem with the water supply itself.  The City’s water supply does not have any kind of natural egg stink and none of the water treatment adds that type of fragrance to the water.  Rotten egg smell in your home’s water is almost always a problem with the home’s hot-water heater, usually the anode rod.  The anode rod in your hot water heater protects the insides of your water heater from several things and one of those things is hydrogen sulfide, a gas created by bacteria often found inside water heaters.  If you smell rotten eggs/sulphur in your water, check to see if it is in your hot water heater. Anode rods only last a couple of years and then need to be replaced.  This can be especially true in multi-family housing where multiple dwelling units share a water heater.  You can also ask your next-door neighbors if they are having a rotten egg stench in their water. If nobody else is having it, it’s probably coming from inside your house.  If the sulphur smell persists in your cold-water supply, please let the Department of Public Works know about it so they can check that area of the City for problems.

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The joy of “Merry Christmas” (or Happy Festivus as the case may be)

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Unlike Mudville, there is plenty of joy to be had in Cedar Springs throughout the winter season. The trees on Main St. are lit up, storefronts and homes are decorated, the music on the radio is exuberant and at least one local shop owner has been waiting for December 25th for about 364 days.  I’m happy to see all the activities going on in the City this time of year, cookie decorating, sleigh rides and visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Library. While I normally shop local, I make sure to especially purchase holiday presents from the local stores that are present in the community all year round.  Also, when you shop in town, you don’t have to worry about porch pirates stealing deliveries off your porch.

This time of year, I consider myself very lucky to have significant diversity in my friends and family and I love that I get to help them celebrate all the different holidays and variations on holidays that exist in December. I always like to learn about how other people celebrate holidays and I will sometimes add those new celebrations into my own celebrations.

In Central Europe, Saint Nicholas’ naughty half-demon half-goat companion Krampus punishes misbehaving children while Saint Nicholas rewards good boys and girls with presents. In Japan, where locals don’t celebrate Christmas, many Japanese celebrate with a fried chicken dinner on Christmas day from Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.   In Germany, shoes left outside are filled with candy and presents.  In Norway, families hide their brooms to prevent witches from stealing them for a ride on Christmas Eve.  Some American Christmas traditions include putting up more outdoor decorative lights than your neighbor, making gingerbread houses, ugly sweater parties, public readings of the “A Visit From St. Nicholas” poem, Christmas at the zoo, Christmas tamales, Mele Kalikimaka, Elfapalooza, Christmas Markets, pub crawls, fireworks and hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree (amongst many many more). Each family has their own traditions and while my family doesn’t hide a pickle in our tree, I like that everyone has fun in their own different and special way.  

I also love that so many different religions and different groups celebrate in their own individual ways in December. Kwanzaa celebrates seven days of principles including Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. Kwanzaa is celebrated with libations, decorating the home with colorful art and wearing beautiful Kente clothing. Festivus is celebrated with a Festivus pole, airing of grievances, joining in feats of strength, and celebrating Festivus miracles. Hanukkah is observed with the lighting of candles on the menorah, singing, latke pancakes, sufganiyot doughnuts and chocolate gelt. Boxing day is celebrated by my commonwealth friends with shopping and sports and the winter’s solstice is celebrated with good acts, donations to needy causes and a recognition and remembrance of the importance of Mother Earth in human lives.

So, in light of the different beliefs and celebrations that my friends, family and community members celebrate, I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Joyous Kwanzaa, Io, Saturnalia, Happy Festivus, Mele Kalikimaka, Happy Chalica, Happy Bodhi Day, Happy Humanlight, Blessed Yule, Soulful Blue Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

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Porch Pirates and the Neighborhood Watch

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

It is no secret that I love senior citizens. Our elders have been there before, they’ve already made that mistake and can help you avoid making it, they know the way through the maze and they tend to take a more historical perspective on the problems of the moment. Retired persons are some of the most reliable volunteers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with as they have the time, knowledge and desire to continue being productive members of society. Every time I vote, its almost entirely the older ladies working to make sure everything runs smoothly at the precinct, ensuring the safety of our democracy.

The love and respect that I have for our seniors, however, is tempered by the fact that there is no more effective neighborhood watch on the planet than neighborhood grandparents. When I was a little boy, I used to get in trouble with my parents for something that I did blocks away from my home. It wasn’t until I was older that my parents informed me that the neighborhood grandparents kept a watchful eye on all the neighborhood kids and kept the parents informed of their kid’s misdeeds.  

Which leads me to the topic of the day and that is porch pirates—especially in these December weeks leading up to the holidays. With postal services delivering packages to porches on a daily basis, there is always the possibility that there is a “porch pirate” seeking to rob you of your deliveries. Porch pirates are criminals who will steal deliveries off front porches hoping to steal something expensive. This crime has become more prevalent over the last several years due to the increase in e-commerce and has caught the eye of the Michigan government, which recently passed a new law making the punishment for committing this box-banditry more severe. Under the new law, which takes effect this month, if somebody intentionally steals any piece of mail from another person, the first offence shall be punished with up to a year in jail, any second or subsequent offense shall be punished by up to five years in prison.

So, while these stiffer punishments are likely to deter some people from being package plunderers, it is not the complete solution to the problem. To help defeat seasonal swipers we should all keep track of our online purchase deliveries, install recording cameras for your porches (doorbell cameras are very popular), know and look out for your neighbors, keep an eye on suspicious behavior and thank our neighborhood seniors who form the best neighborhood watch that anyone can ask for.  

Please call and report suspicious behavior to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at their non-emergency phone number of 616-632-6100 or call 911 if you see a crime being committed or any other emergency.

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Property Taxes and Proposal “A”

In 1994, Michigan voters approved the constitutional amendment known as Proposal “A.” Proposal “A” established Taxable Value as the basis for the calculation of property taxes, in place of the previous Assessed Value. Under Proposal “A”, increases in Taxable Value are limited to the percent change in the rate of inflation (Consumer Price Index) or 5 percent, whichever is less for the year, in other words, your home’s taxable value never increases more than 5% each year and is often less. However, this does not apply in a year that the property is sold when the home’s taxable value is set at 50 percent of its cash value for the new homeowner.

Every year, prior to the March meeting of the local Board of Review, the Assessor will mail each homeowner a Notice of Assessment that includes information about each home such as the tentative taxable value, State Equalized Value, any exemptions and information related to any ownership transfers.  The notice will also include information related to the Board of Review, which is a local board of citizens that hears appeals regarding property taxable values and other property tax matters.

So, how do you know what your property taxes are going to be next year? The first place that you start is figuring out the current taxable value of your home. Thankfully, the City keeps that information online for you to look at any time through our BS&A software, just go to the City’s website and click on the “Click to Pay” button under “Pay Bill.” You then click on “Assessing Search” on the left-hand side and input your home address into the search bar, this will bring up information related to the assessed value, taxable value and tax bills for previous years. For example, a home with a taxable value of $56,220 could only see their taxable value go up $56,220 X 1.05=$59,031 maximum if it were to go up the full 5 percent.  However, the most recent Consumer Price Index was 2 percent so the home will likely see its taxable value increase from $56,220 X 1.02=$57,344.  Then, to determine the actual tax bill, you would divide the taxable value by 1000 and multiply it by the millage rate. The millage rate in the City is expected to increase approximately 3.4 mills next year due to the fire station vote, which brings the total millage rate in the City to approximately 47.5411 mills.  This means that a home with a taxable value of $56,220 that paid $2,378.37 in Summer taxes last year will see its taxable value increase to $57,344 and pay approximately $2,726 in Summer taxes next year.  This same math formula can be used for other proposed millage requests such as the recent school bond request, which purported to raise the millage rate 0.9 mills.  To determine how that would affect your home’s taxes, you would take your taxable value, divide it by 1000 and multiply it by 0.9 or in the case of the $56,220 home it would be 56.22 X 0.9=$50.60 tax increase for the year or under the estimated next year taxable value of $57,344 it would be 57.344 X 0.9=$51.61 tax increase.

As a side note, sometimes banks will increase your home’s required escrow payments to cover expected property taxes, PMI and homeowner’s insurance payments. Your bank’s estimate of escrow payments for the year could be high or low compared to actual costs and may result in a refund or a shortage bill at the end of the year, the City has no control over what your bank does with escrow payments.

As always, City Hall staff are happy to help try and answer any questions you might have related to property taxes, please call 616-696-1330 and we can assist you.

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The Devil’s lettuce

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

The City recently hosted a public forum regarding the issue of recreational marijuana this past November 15 at the Library. I used the forum as an opportunity to educate those in attendance about what the recreational marijuana law allows and doesn’t allow and also to ask for input from those in attendance about what types of businesses citizens might like to see be permitted in the City.

The main questions that I asked for input on and that I am still looking for input on are:

1. What types of marijuana businesses should the City consider allowing in the City?

2. In which zoning districts should we allow the various types of marijuana businesses?

3. How many of each marijuana business should the City consider allowing?

Due to time constraints there simply wasn’t sufficient time to enable each participant to both provide answers to these questions and also to explain why they chose that answer.

A fair argument can be made for or against each of the 8 marijuana businesses that are currently permissible under State law. Some might argue that a 2000 plant grower business is simply too big and potentially smelly to be in the City, others might counterargue that we should leave it to the business to determine if there exists a feasible property to operate the business and that there exists effective odor control technologies to prevent marijuana odor from leaving the premises. Some will say that a designated consumption facility will enable dangerous drugged driving in the City while others would argue that it would provide a safe and fun atmosphere for marijuana smokers to imbibe, similar to a bar.

There are also pros and cons to which zoning districts might be appropriate for each type of proposed marijuana business. For instance, a microbusiness would likely do well in an industrial zoning district because of the size of building required for the business but on the other hand, industrial zoning districts are less ideal for the retail customer business side of a microbusiness.  Allowing dispensaries in the B2 district would likely increase customer traffic to the downtown area but it would also be “in the face” of everyone who is against marijuana businesses. Allowing retail dispensaries or microbusinesses in the B3 district makes the marijuana less visible to those who don’t want to see it but it makes the business less accessible and could create parking problems at or near the business.

Finally, there is the question of whether the City should limit the number of any marijuana businesses but specifically should it limit the number of retail dispensaries and microbusinesses in the City. Some say allow as many dispensaries and microbusinesses as anybody wants to open and let capitalism weed out the bad ones and others who think we should limit the number to 2 dispensaries and 2 microbusinesses or 4 dispensaries or only 1 microbusiness or no dispensaries or microbusinesses at all.

Anyhow, all these questions and more will be discussed at the second recreational marijuana public forum on December 12 from 5:30 to 7pm at the Cedar Springs Public Library located at 107 N Main St. If you cannot make that forum please feel free to e-mail me your thoughts at manager@cityofcedarsprings.com.

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Vote Vote Vote

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

In the recent November 2019 election, voter turnout in the City of Cedar Springs was 19.34 percent and I know we can do better than that.  I won’t bore you with an argument about voting being a civic duty and simply say that voting is now easier than ever in Michigan. The voters of Michigan overwhelmingly passed Proposal 3 of 2018 by a 66.9 percent to 33.1 percent tally. That proposal enshrined several voting policies into the state constitution. Some of these voting policies were long-held practices that theoretically could have been revoked by action of the State government. Those rights are now irrevocable because they are written into the constitution. These rights include the right to use secret ballots and the right of military members to receive absentee ballots 45 days before the election. 

Other changes written into the proposal included the right to audit elections, extending the times that people can register to vote, making voter registration an opt-out option when getting a driver’s license or state-ID card and reinstituting the straight-ticket voting option that was outlawed by the State government in 2015.

What I think is the most exciting part of the changes included with Proposal 3, however, is the no-excuse absentee voting for 40 days before an election. Absentee voting used to be only available to persons who were 60 years or older, persons who would be out of town on election day or persons who were physically incapable of voting due to disability, religious tenet or incarceration. The new no-excuse absentee voting means you can skip the lines at the precinct if you hate waiting in lines and you don’t have to get time off from work to do it. It means you can fill out the ballot at home with your computer to look up the candidates you are considering voting for or what experts think about a particular millage proposal. It also means that you can pin the ballot to a board and vote by dart, put it on the ground and vote by “jumping to conclusions,” or vote with the assistance of 2018’s Proposal 1, not that I would recommend any of those options. 

The truth of the matter is that decisions are made by those who show up.  Voting is having your voice heard and directing the policies of your local, state and federal government. Starkly put, elections have consequences and your vote really does count.

If you have questions about the City of Cedar Springs’ elections or if you’d like to discuss absentee voting in the City please contact the City Clerk at clerk@cityofcedarsprings.org or by phone at 616-696-1330.

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You get a new road, you get a new road, you get a new road!

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Well, not quite, though if wishing made it so. The City of Cedar Springs, like all communities, receives money from the State to spend on City streets from state fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees, income taxes and supplemental appropriations from the State Legislature. Cities can also pay for road funding through road millages, general fund appropriations and special assessments, none of which Cedar Springs currently uses.  Occasionally, small sections of roads have to be demolished for other projects like water lines and sewer repairs, fixing those sections of roads are paid for out of the water and sewer funds as part of those projects.

The amount of money that the City receives for its streets each year is based on a formula whose primary factor is the number of miles of roads that the City maintains within its borders, some sections of road being maintained by the County. On a year-to-year basis, the City uses most of the money it receives on snowplowing and road maintenance such as filling potholes. City Hall saves what little that is leftover each year for larger projects such as emergency repairs, road replacements, and money for matching grant opportunities. It is much more cost efficient to do larger projects every couple of years versus smaller projects every year.

At the beginning of the 2019-20 fiscal year, the City’s Major Street fund had $260,000 in fund balance and the Local Street fund had $296,000 in fund balance. Those amounts get eaten up quickly however, with big projects such as the First Street, Maple Street and Ann Street paving project which cost approximately $170,000 total. The funds also contribute heavily towards the local match requirements of future capital projects like the 2021 Main Street bridge project and the 2023 Main Street repaving project which are expected to cost $1.5 million and $484,000 respectively.  Those projects will require local matching funds of approximately $176,000 combined.  These funds also pay back a certain amount each year to pay for the bonds taken out on previous road projects. The 2021 bridge project will replace the bridge over the creek and approximately a block of road north and south of the bridge. Then, in 2023, almost the full length of Main St., from Church St. north to 18 Mile will be “milled and filled,” which is what was just done on First St. last week. 

The simple fact of the matter is that the City just hasn’t received enough money to adequately maintain the roads or to replace the ones that need to be replaced.  There is no magic “slush fund” and every single dollar received and spent on the roads is meticulously accounted for. The numbers are all available in the yearly budget and in the monthly reports given to the City Council at their regular meetings.  At the end of 2016, the State’s gas tax went up seven cents per gallon, the first increase in 20 years.  Due to this State gas tax increase, the City is starting to see increased road funding money and is able to start planning for and paying for some of these long overdue projects.  The City is already planning to do another mill and fill project on Second St. next year along with several blocks of local streets. With Governor Whitmer’s stated priority of finding additional funding for roads, we are hopeful to continue the ongoing process of fixing and replacing roads into the future.  Finally, the roads that get milled and filled are chosen by the City Engineer based on many factors such as asphalt thickness, traffic counts, PASER ratings, expected future projects and cost efficiency amongst others. Many roads in the City need to be fixed and we’ll keep fixing them as long as we have the money to do so.

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The Resurgence of the Downtown Development Authority

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a government board composed of local business owners and citizens whose primary job is to work on improving the downtown area of the City. The older more walkable downtown areas of cities face an uphill battle compared to newer sections of cities that were planned with cars and driving as their focus. Back in the day, everyone lived within walking distance of the downtown so there was little thought given to wide roads or lots of convenient parking spots. So, the State allows for the creation of DDA’s, which are primarily funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF’s).  

DDA’s use TIF money to reinvest in the downtown area following the DDA’s published development plans, which outline what the DDA will do with the TIF money.  This reinvestment helps to make the downtown more attractive and more useable and helps to promote a robust business climate in the downtown area. The best part of the DDA and the TIF is that it does NOT raise tax rates at all. The TIF is simply a reallocation of taxes that were already being paid and redirects a small portion of the taxes already paid to this reinvestment fund.  

The DDA’s development plan, which is available on the City’s website, details a number of projects to be accomplished by the DDA Board using TIF funds, including creating new parking areas, construction of parks, improving accessibility of the White Pine Trail to Main Street and the development of events to draw persons into the downtown area amongst other plans.

This year, the DDA focused on bringing a new parking area to the Heart of Cedar Springs park; improved parking signage at all municipal parking lots; new signage along the White Pine Trail; sponsoring the downtown flower-pot decorating contest; hanging flower pots and planting flowers along Main St.; and paying for the shoveling of snow off Main Street sidewalks throughout the winter.

If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns about the DDA or what projects it should focus on in the coming year, please attend a DDA meeting. The DDA will be holding informational meetings in October and November to discuss what the DDA does and what it plans to focus on in the future. Please attend if you want to learn more about the DDA or TIF. The next two DDA meetings are October 28 and November 4 at noon at City Hall.

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