Plainfield Avenue Corridor Improvement Authority
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Building Exterior Improvement Program
PACIA Seeks Partnerships with other Governments
In April of 2007, the Plainfield Township Board of Trustees created a
Corridor Improvement Authority ("CIA") covering an area that includes 152
individual parcels of property along Plainfield Avenue from 4 Mile Road
to Airway. The CIA operates like the Comstock Park Downtown Development
Authority (DDA), except that its funding depends on the willingness of the
contributing taxing authorities to allow their property taxes on the increased
value (from 2006 to ??) of the 152 parcels to be captured. Tax Increment
Financing is how the CIA can generate the money needed to accomplish the
public improvements. In cooperation with Grand Rapids Township, which created
its own CIA south of 4 Mile Road, a “tax sharing agreement” was negotiated
with Kent County, which has consistently rejected participation in Tax Increment
Financing Authorities (TIFAs) for many years. A similar agreement was reached
with Grand Rapids Community College, which has consistently participated
in TIFAs. The Kent District Library (KDL) has opted NOT to participate and
has declined to participate in tax sharing agreements with Plainfield and
Grand Rapids Townships.
When TIFAs are created, the participating taxing units of government understand that a stagnant or depressed area of the community needs a boost, some extra assistance, to turn things around and rejuvenate the area. Why should the County, the GRCC, the KDL, or Plainfield Township want to see revenues it would normally collect be plowed back into the CIA district? Because a rejuvenated area represents a benefit to everyone – including taxing government entities that are temporarily giving up a small portion of their revenue to finance the CIA. If a stagnant area is turned around, property values will increase and will generate more taxes than would have been generated by simply leaving the place to die on the vine. The keys to making this work are (1) generating enough money to make a difference and (2) ensuring that, once the objectives are achieved, the TIFA will be dissolved, and all of the contributing taxing entities will receive increased tax revenues that would not have materialized without their participation. The tax sharing agreements with Kent County and GRCC assure this, having been persuaded that continuing its participation in TIFAs makes long term good sense.
With the downturn in the economy and the decline of property values (particularly commercial property values), the tax increment revenue to the CIAs is far less than hoped for. While we have succeeded in getting a useful and visible project completed with the addition of sidewalks from 4 Mile Road to Rupert along Plainfield Avenue, the $70,000 that is presently in the CIA Fund and the $24,000 per year that is being generated by the TIFA is not sufficient to accomplish much in terms of new projects that will have significant impacts.
The Plainfield Township and Grand Rapids Township CIA boards know that they have their work cut out for them. Sustained, patient, and determined attention to their combined missions is essential for success. Good things do not “just happen” in local government; it takes dedicated, hardworking, and competent individuals to make things happen. The understanding and support of the entire community is also very important. Citizens of Plainfield Township and Grand Rapids Township should make it their business to know what is going on and to support these efforts.
Robert C. Homan
The improvement program has been established by the Plainfield Avenue
Corridor Improvement Authority (PACIA) to encourage the preservation, restoration
and /or renovation of significant building exteriors for properties located
within the PACIA district (see maps below).
LANDSCAPING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The PACIA would also like to improve the aesthetics is landscaping, to beautify the frontage along Plainfield Avenue. The project we have undertaken involves planting flowers, trees, bushes, etc. that are weather resistant. Moreover, there is no cost to the business or property owners. However, we do ask that you maintain the improved space by keeping it clean of weeds and trash in the passing years. To help with the installation of these projects we have formed a partnership with Northview Public High School.
The mission of PACIA is to make Plainfield Avenue a more inviting place thereby sustaining its economic future
Development Plan and Tax Increment Financing Plan (Draft)
Interested persons can view or download a draft of the proposed plan here. The entire document is quite large (1.5mb) so visitors with slow connections may prefer download a version without maps.
Note: The original signed copies are on file with the .
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