The mission of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is

  • To correct and prevent deterioration
  • To encourage historical preservation
  • To promote economic growth within the DDA district
  • Develop and adopting a “development plan” as well as implement the activities explicitly stated in the plan

Finance projects of the Authority may be derived from several sources including: taxes, revenues generated from the use of assets, proceeds from revenue bonds, municipal funds including state and federal grants, special assessment levies, and tax increment financing receipts.Tax Increment Financing is a government financing program which contributes to economic growth and development by dedicating a portion of the tax base resulting from the economic growth and development to certain public facilities and structures or improvements of the type designed and dedicated to public use and thereby facilitate certain projects which create economic growth and development. That it is necessary for the legislature to exercise the sovereign power to legislate tax increment financing as authorized in this act and in the exercise of this sovereign power to mandate the transfer of tax increment revenues by city, village, township, school district, and county treasurers to authorities created under this act in order to effectuate the legislated government programs to eliminate the conditions of unemployment, underemployment, and joblessness and to promote state economic growth.

Program/Grant Offerings

  • Highway Advertising Signs: The DDA offers small or large signs for businesses that would like to advertise in two locations at the Lawrence I-94 exit ramp. Signs must fit listed criteria and the advertiser must complete and submit the attached contract. Further details including sizing options and pricing are attached here.
  • Facade Improvement Program: To encourage businesses and property owners to improve & maintain building facades. This program is contingent upon the availability of budgeted funds and will be awarded on a first come first served basis, unless the DDA concludes that the applicant has an immediate need that could substantially enhance the DDA district. The DDA reserves the right to revise or end these programs at any time and in no way guarantees availability of funding for any specific project or at any given time.
  • Paint only program: The DDA may match the property or business owner for the cost of paint & labor on 50/50 basis up to $350. Paint colors must meet the general guidelines of the DDA for consistency in the district. All buildings qualify for this program including residential homes within the district. Purchase of paint from a business within the district qualifies the applicant for an additional 5% participation from the DDA.
  • Repair and Restoration: The DDA may provide up to 1/3 of the funding for facade restoration projects that may include work such as painting, window repair, replacement of the siding, minor tuck pointing, brick replacement, etc. Projects must be approved by the DDA for conformity for the overall consistency with the character of the district. maximum grant funding for the project will be $1000. Purchase of materials or services from a business in the district qualifies the applicant for an additional 5% participation from the DDA. Loans from the DDA for facade renovation are not available at this time due to the limited funds available. This area will be updated when permitted by additional funds.

Facade Improvement Application is available here. DDA Highway Exit Sign Contract is available here. The Lawrence DDA was formed via the creation of The 1975 State of Michigan ACT 197, which can be viewed here. The Lawrence DDA Development and its Tax Increment Finance Plan of 2000 can be viewed here. The DDA District map can be viewed here.

The Downtown Development Authority Committee consists of:

  • Dale Gribler (Chairperson)
  • David Quick (Village President)
  • Mary Webster (Council Trustee)
  • Donna Barnett
  • Gary Barton
  • Steve Petersen
  • Don Hansen (Van Buren County Representative)
  • Dan Faulkner (Ad Hock)
  • Theresa Stroud (Township Rep)

Recent Meeting Minutes Meetings occur on 4th Wednesday at 6:30 pm of each month at Village Hall. (see Meetings Notice pdf in case of schedule conflicts).

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