Downtown Development Authority

In order to prevent deterioration and promote economic vitality in the downtown district, the Big Rapids City Commission established the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) of the City of Big Rapids pursuant to Act 197 of 1975 by adopting Ordinance 209-8-85 on August 5, 1985. Shortly after the district was established, the City Commission approved a two mill tax levy for the DDA. That two mill levy is still in place and has been used to fund the operational and development related costs for the Downtown.

Resolution 88-187 approved on December 19, 1988, established a Tax Increment Financing Plan (TIF) for the DDA. The TIF Revenue was used to fund a major streetscape project. The debt for those improvements was paid in full by 1996. After that point, the TIF Plan was not updated and reestablished until 2008.

The purpose of the TIF Plan is to provide for the acquisition, construction, and financing of necessary public improvements including parking, streetscape improvements, sidewalks, signage, park improvements, facade improvements, and other facilities in the DDA district in accordance with DDA objectives so as to prevent deterioration and promote economic vitality of the DDA.

The DDA annually invests in Downtown beautification such as planting and maintenance of flowers in hanging baskets and fixed planters.  Implementation and maintenance of twinkle lights on street trees.  banners, benches and picnic tables. 

The DDA organizes and implements a Downtown Farmers Market that runs on Tuesdays and Fridays from May through October with an additional Holiday Market in November. 

The DDA contributes funding to the Downtown Business Association that markets and promotes the Downtown by providing live music in Pocket Park on Fridays during the Farmers Market, sponsoring events throughout the year that draw people to the downtown and help sustain the local business owners and actively market the Downtown through social media. 

The DDA is governed by a nine member board that is appointed by the Big Rapids City Commission. It is considered a discretely presented component unit and financial statements are issued as part of the audit report of the City of Big Rapids.

Downtown Development Authority Bylaws

As a part of PA 57 of 2018, new reporting requirements have been issued. Please visit the "Forms and Reports" tab or click here for additional information.