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Plainfield Charter Township
6161 Belmont Ave, NE
Belmont, MI  49306-9609

Phone: 616-364-8466
Fax: 616-364-6537

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 


Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority
 Manager's Office Staff:

Phone: (616) 726-8888

Township Superintendent

Assistant to the Township Superintendent

Ordinance Enforcement


Back to Township Superintendent Page

» Comstock Park DDA Development and Financing Plan (.pdf 2.8mb)
» Comstock Park DDA Website
» Comstock Park DDA Agendas and Minutes

 

What is the Comstock Park DDA?
The Plainfield Township Board of Trustees created a Downtown Development Authority in 1993, using a state law that had existed since the mid-1970s. The City of Rockford has a DDA, as does Lowell, Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Grandville, and other municipalities in Kent County. The DDA is a specialized entity governed by a Board of Directors chosen by the Township Board. The DDA doesn’t make or enforce laws, doesn’t collect its own taxes, and doesn’t employ its own staff. It does have its own annual budget (approved by Plainfield Township), and it has certain powers spelled out in Public Act of 1976, and also in the local ordinance that created the DDA. The DDA exists for one purpose: To improve a defined area (the “downtown district”) by establishing programs, eliminating blighted public or private structures, and constructing improvements to encourage economic activity in that district.

If they don’t collect their own taxes, where do they get the money to do these things? They are allowed to “capture” the taxes of other jurisdictions (county, community college, libraries, township, etc.) that are collected on the increased value of the property in the district following the creation of the DDA. In the case of the Comstock Park DDA, for example, the initial value of property in the district was $9,648,100 in 1993 (the “Base Year”), the value of the property in 2007 was $28,897,256, so the difference, the increased value since 1993, is $19,249,156. The combined tax rates of Kent County, Plainfield Township, Grand Rapids Community College, and the Kent District Library applied to $19,249,156 amounts to $197,050 for 2007. This method of funding the Comstock Park DDA is called “tax increment financing” (TIF). The CP DDA saved nearly all of its annual funding from 1994-2003 to build up a reserve sufficient to construct the West River Drive streetscape and to rebuild the County Parking Lot across the street from Dwight Lydell Park five years ago. The DDA also contributed half the cost of building the new parking area behind the Comstock Park Library (Plainfield Township paid the other half.)

Since 2003, besides building the new parking lot, the DDA provided the funds to purchase the 800-foot long railroad right-of-way from Vitale’s to Lamoreaux Drugs. Plainfield Township negotiated a Lease Agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to enable the DDA to improve the old railroad right-of-way from Lamoreaux Drugs to Ball Park Drive north of US 131. These two important actions were needed for the DDA to make improvements to the ugly, pothole-filled strip from Mill Creek Avenue to Mill Creek (the former Norfolk-Southern RR property) and to connect downtown Comstock Park to the point where the paved White Pine Trail turns east at the entrance to 5th 3rd Ball Park to the banks of the Grand River. The improvements, being designed right now by Prein & Newhof engineers, will be constructed before November of 2008 at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. These improvements have been included in the DDA’s Development Plan since 1993 and are also included in the amended Plan, expected to be approved by the Plainfield Township Board this month.

Remember – these things do not “just happen;” people are working to make them happen.

Robert C. Homan
Township Manager


 

COMSTOCK PARK DDA

Term Expires

Larry Allen Dec 31, 2014
Michael Bass July 31, 2016
Rick Ericksen July 31, 2016
Richard Frey Dec 31, 2014
Edwin Hood** Dec 31, 2014
Jim Jarecki * July 31, 2016
Larry Roelofs July 31, 2016
Bill Parris Dec 31, 2014
Jay Spencer Board Representative
Cameron Van Wyngarden Alternate
Chair *    Vice-Chair **  

  Term of Office - 4 years

 
 

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