Community is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a group of people with a common characteristic…
Downtown Development Authority
The City of Adrian established the Downtown Development Authority nearly 30 years ago, and is pleased to report on the progress made in downtown by the DDA board and staff.
The DDA board is made up of 13 members, including the Mayor of the City, downtown business and building owners, and residents of downtown. Board members applicants are vetted by the Board, appointed by the Mayor, and approved by the Adrian City Commission.
The DDA has the support of city staff, including one full-time staff member working exclusively on downtown and community development tasks, and support help from the administrator’s office, planning and zoning, utilities, finance, DPW and engineering, and various other departments.
The DDA board meets monthly on the 2nd Wednesday at 8am, and has its annual meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of June. Meetings are posted and open to the public, and meeting minutes and agendas are posted on the City’s website.
The DDA receives revenue from a Tax Increment Financing capture and a dedicated 2 mills that also funds DDA activities. The total DDA revenue for 2018-19 is $128,900; with the 2 mills generating $26,000, and the TIF funds totaling $102,900.
During the 2018-19 budget year, the City of Adrian assumed the total cost of the support staff, leaving the major expenditure of the DDA a $60,000 annual transfer that provides 1/3 of the costs of downtown parking lots. The DDA also funded a parking study in 2018 at a total cost not to exceed $21,900. Other expenditures included $5,000 in support of the outdoor sculpture program, office space, IT support, training and conferences, and a contract for waste removal that is supported by downtown building and business owners who utilize the service.
The DDA provides support for a variety of downtown events including First Fridays, the Artalicious Fine Arts Fair, the Blues and Brews Festival, and HUB Fest, an event presented by the League of Michigan Bicyclists. During 2018-19, a number of projects were completed including adding bike lanes to downtown streets, the Adrian Armory Event Center renovation, the establishment of Launch Lenawee, an entrepreneurial training program hosted at the Adrian Armory Event Center, the renovation and addition of the Chaloner’s Cigar House and the Copper House Coffee project.
DDA staff and board members attended Main Street trainings during 2018, and the DDA continues engagement with the Main Street process in 2019, intending to submit an application to the Select Level in fall 2019.
During 2018-19, in addition to completing the parking study noted above, the DDA also completed a strategic planning process. The process ran for approximately 6 months, and engaged the community in a series of meetings, workshops and surveys. The process resulted in six Strategic Focus areas as follows:
• Partner on City Practices and Procedures
• Multi-modal transportation
• Build tax base
• Grow and attract jobs
• Connect to nodes and neighborhoods