Downtown Development Authority Board
The DDA Board has posted their meeting schedule
in the Government section of the website.
The Cascade Charter Township Downtown Development Authority was created in June 1993 and is designed as the primary mechanism for the implementation of a broad range of improvement projects along 28th Street and into the Village area. In March 2003, the boundaries of the DDA district were expanded to include 28th Street, west of the I-96 interchange and in 2004 they were again expanded to include Centennial Business Park. To view the boundaries of the DDA District, click here to view the DDA Map
Actions of the DDA
The DDA Board of Directors has been very productive in planning and implementing projects to improve the DDA district since 1993. The following is a list of accomplishments of the DDA Board of Directors.
- Completion of the Cascade Rd./28th Streetscape Project in 1996.
- Participation in the design of the Cascade Museum Gardens. This project was completed in 1998.
- Participation in the Village Design Charette in April 1999 and the development of the Cascade Village Design and Land Use Evaluation report.
- Participation in the design and financing of the Old 28th Street Streetscape Project in 2000.
- Participation in the design of the Leslie E. Tassell Riverfront Park in 2000.
- Completion of sidewalks along 28th Street to Thornhills Ave. in 2001.
Downtown Development Authorities
Today there are nearly three hundred (300) active Downtown Development Authorities throughout Michigan. DDA’s are enabled by Public Act 197 of 1975, as amended and operate as special purpose authorities appointed by local governing bodies to carry out specific tasks. These include the planning and improvement of downtown areas through the construction of a broad range of eligible public facilities (e.g. streetscape, utilities, parks, landscaping, pathways etc.) and assistance to developers in the improvement of real estate within the DDA’s Development Area. The DDA is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the Township Supervisor and eight (8) other members appointed by the Supervisor with the approval of the Township Board of Trustees. The DDA is a public body and must conduct itself in accordance with all of the Michigan Statutes governing the operation of public agencies.
Tax Increment Financing
One of the most significant resources available to a DDA is Tax Increment Financing. This tool allows the DDA to "capture" additional valuation added to an approved Development Area after adoption of a Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan by the DDA and the Township Board of Trustees. All local millages (except local and intermediate school millages) are applied to this captured valuation, and the result is the tax increment retained by the DDA for use in accordance with the adopted Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan
. In the case of the Cascade Township DDA, this means that the millages of the Township, Kent County, Kent District Library and Grand Rapids Community College are subject to capture.
Role of the DDA Board
The Board of Directors of the DDA will assist in the implementation of the projects contained in the Cascade Charter Township Downtown Development Plan and Tax Increment Financing Plan for Downtown Improvements. Specific duties of the Board include:
- Developing and adopting an annual budget. After approval by the DDA Board, this budget is forwarded to the Township Board of Trustees and is effective upon approval by the Trustees.
- Retaining professional consultants for planning, engineering, market analysis and legal functions and, if desired, hiring staff.
- Reviewing and adopting a Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan.
- Guiding the implementation of the TIF and Development Plan along with other activities to be funded or undertaken by the DDA.
- Planning for the economic and physical development of the DDA District.