DDA plan now in city and college’s hands

The Alpena County Board of Commissioners has decided not to help fund an expansion of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority’s boundaries.

That means it’s now up to the Alpena Municipal Council and Alpena Community College Board of Trustees to salvage the plan.

The DDA wants to extend its boundaries to encompass Chisholm Street to the bridge near MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena, River Street, from the Holiday Inn Express to 9th Avenue, down 2nd Avenue to Clark Street, and down a portion of 9th Avenue near Players Pub and Grub.

Businesses in the extended boundaries would become eligible for grants for facade improvements and other items, and the DDA could work to beautify those corridors and host events there.

To help fund that work, a portion of the taxes collected on properties within the expanded boundaries would be redirected to the DDA through a program known as tax increment financing.

The county board decided it didn’t want its taxes diverted to the DDA.

Now, Alpena Community College and the city must decide if they want a portion of their taxes diverted.

If they don’t, the expansion is dead.

We call on all residents to decide if they think the benefits of the expansion — the beautification of the proposed corridors and new events in those places — outweigh the costs, which would include lost taxes from the college and city and the imposition of a DDA tax on all properties within the expanded boundaries.

Then, we call on residents to share their thoughts with college and city officials.

Finally, we call on leaders at the city and college to take those thoughts into consideration when deciding what to do about the DDA’s plan.


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