DDA appoints three members to joint committee

By Megan Kelley
Review Writer
LAKE ORION — The Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors_ met on June 14 and voted to appoint three members (including one alternate) to a joint committee with Lake Orion’s village council to review the DDA’s development and Tax Increment Financing Plan.
Additionally, the committee would review and examine of the already approved 2020 “Amendment No. 4 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Development Plan.”
The village council meets at 7:30 p.m. on June 27 and could vote to appoint three members to the committee at that meeting.
In recent months, issues with the current DDA tax capture have been brought up by members of the village council which have resulted in calls to decrease the DDA’s capture area and give a portion of the taxes to the village.
Because of this, the DDA’s attorney, Robert Charles Davis, and the village’s attorney from Beier Howlett met to discuss DDA law and presented both parties with a memo outlining two possible courses of action.
Timeline 1: Initiated by the governing body, meaning the village council, would address the steps and timelines associated with potentially amending the boundaries of the established Downtown District.
Timeline 2: Initiated by the DDA, addresses the steps and timelines associated with potentially amending the established development plan and TIF plan. This plan is subject to receipt, review and approval by the village council but must be initiated by the DDA board.
“I’m asking that we extend an olive branch to the village council and show our continued willingness to work together for the community moving forward by agreeing to be a part of this committee,” said DDA Executive Director Molly LaLone about the recommendation to the council.
The recommended motion was to concur with the attorneys recommendation to establish a Village Council/DDA review committee consisting of three members of the Village and three members of the DDA.
The committee would then determine what proposal, if any, the DDA should make to the village council to lawfully initiate the process of amending the Development Plan and the TIF Plan and would include the review and examination of the already approved 2020 “Amendment No. 4 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Development Plan.”
If a change is recommended by the committee, the DDA can initiate the process as outlined in Timeline 2, culminating in a review and decision by the village council.
The decision would be to amend the DDA’s boundaries and TIF plan, not disband the DDA.
The motion also included appointing three members of the board to the committee.
Village Council President Ken Van Portfliet, who sits on the DDA board, originally agreed to make the recommended motion, extending the question of who should be on the committee.
Board Vice President Sam Caruso and Chairperson Debbie Burgess both volunteered to be on the committee with Treasurer Matt Shell agreeing to be on the committee but mentioning that his schedule may not allow him to be at some of the meetings.
Because of possible scheduling conflicts, Van Portfliet recommended that the board add an alternate.
When no present board members agreed to be an alternate, LaLone suggested appointing DDA board member Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett as an alternate.
This suggestion was not one Van Portfliet agreed with, stating that he didn’t want to “cloud the issue on the council side.”
This raised some confusion among the DDA board members because Chris Barnett is not on the village council.
With the suggestion to add Barnett as an alternate to the committee team, Van Portfliet retracted his initial motion.
The motion, which included Barnett as an alternate, was then made by Caruso and seconded by Board Member Alaina Campbell.
The motion passed with seven in favor, none opposed.
Barnett and Lloyd Coe were absent from the meeting.
Online: downtownlakeorion.org and lakeorion.org.

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