City backs DDA budget


The Grand Rapids City Commission approved the Downtown Development Authority’s budget plan for fiscal year 2019.

In a request submitted to the city by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., President and CEO Tim Kelly noted the expenditures coincide with the city’s GR Forward plan.

“With GR Forward now an approved amendment to the city’s Master Plan, DGRI has clearly defined objectives and continues to work diligently to ensure its budgets reflect the plan’s recommendations,” Kelly said.

According to the DDA’s budget outline, appropriations are divided into the five GR Forward goals:

  • Goal 1: Restore the river as a draw and create a connected and equitable river corridor – $2,138,000

  • Goal 2: Create a true downtown neighborhood home to a diverse population –$2,510,000

  • Goal 3: Implement a 21st-century mobility strategy – $2,637,204

  • Goal 4: Expand job opportunities and ensure continued value of the local economy – $175,000

  • Goal 5: Reinvest in public spaces, culture and inclusive programming – $2,556,000

Expenditures for those five goals total $10,016,204.

The budget consists of both new projects from GR Forward and carry-forward projects spanning multiple fiscal years.

New projects include planning for the management of future river corridor improvements, new lighting for Division Avenue, the re-design of Fulton Street and Calder Plaza, support for the initiation of bike-share programs, construction funding for Lyon Square and designs for the conversion of one-way streets to two way, including Ottawa and Ionia avenues.

Carry-forward priorities from previous years include improved bus shelters for the DASH system, funding to grow the supply of affordable housing, and support for the Grand River restoration.

Budget resources include the local tax increment fund, nontax increment fund, school tax increment fund and the bond proceeds fund.

FY2019 predicts total resources and appropriations not to exceed $19,344,150.

The DDA board unanimously approved and recommended FY2019 to the city commission at its meeting May 9. Now with city commission approval, the DDA board will consider budget adoption at its next scheduled meeting June 13.

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