I am 68 years old, born and raised in the Village of Lake Orion. Growing up this town was booming; everyone came into town to shop! Starting in the mid-seventies thru the mid-nineties the town slowly died.
In the mid-eighties the village council chose to adopt a program offered by the State of Michigan known as DDA (Downtown Development Authority). This was developed by the state because small towns were dying off, and this would help to revitalize them!
How it works is that it captures a part of taxes (monies that would have gone to Oakland County, Oakland County Parks & Recreation, Orion Township, Oakland Community College, and MetroParks), which are kept locally for improving your designated downtown district. Note: to find the boundaries of our DDA district, go to the Village of Lake Orion’s website
The DDA has provided the streetscape, Children’s Park, street lighting downtown and up and down M-24, the connector path from downtown to the Paint Creek Trail, signage, the Lumberyard, work with Oxford’s DDA to provide the Trolley service, putting funds aside to help with the Paint Creek Bank Stabilization, added parking, plowing snow from downtown sidewalks, etc.
It also sponsors a number of events throughout the year. The Flower Fair, Ladies Night, Halloween Extravaganza, Shop Small Saturday, Summer Concerts held at Children’s Park, lighting of the downtown Christmas Tree with a Sing & Stroll and more.
They help our small businesses with loans to enhance storefronts, obtain liquor licenses, tips on how to improve their business and were a big help during the pandemic!
And a vibrant downtown increases your property values!
Downtown Lake Orion is once again the exciting place it used to be! Please vote “No” on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to keep our DDA!
Rosemary Cole Ford