The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ontonagon council approves DDA project resolutions


October 16, 2019


Ontonagon — When the village of Ontonagon was named by former Gov. Rick Synder a Rising Tide Community, a key to development was revitalization of the village’s Downtown Development Authority. The original Ontonagon DDA plan was approved in the 1980s and expires in 2020. The DDA worked with a Rising Tide Fellow in Ontonagon to amend the plan for another 30 years.

John Iacoangeli of Beckett and Raeder answered questions about the new plan at a public meeting of the village council Monday. He said the plan identifies more than $14 million in projects which include public projects, street improvements, reconstruction, building and marketing.

“Not all of them will probably be done and priorities will be set,” he said.

The hearing for the DDA amendment ran back-to-back with a public hearing on expanding the DDA district. The expansion covers the Rockland Road Corridor and Greenland Road Corridor that both lead to the downtown business district and the former Ontonagon School. It includes a section of M-38 between the two corridors. The purpose would be to provide an opportunity for future economic projects which are identified in the new DDA plan.

Iacoangeli answered questions about how the DDA plan is funded. He said there are no tax increases in the new plan. He explained when the DDA was first authorized by the state in 1985, the district was valued at $15.17 million. Today, that value is $20 million. The DDA can capture the difference and use that for development within the district.

Spectators asked several questions. Marty Hendricks, a new resident, said her family is bringing a new business to Ontonagon and will have an open house at the former Artic Cat building.

During the regular portion of the council session, the council approved the two resolutions, one to approve the plan and the second to expand the district.


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