What is a Downtown Development Authority?
The state of Michigan passed the Downtown Development Authority Act (PA 197 of 1975) to give municipalities a tool for improving the quality of downtown areas. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) promotes economic growth and revitalization and encourages historic preservation within the central business district. The DDA seeks to reverse historical trends that have led to loss of population, jobs, businesses, and the quality of life within the downtown area.
The Comstock Park DDA was chartered in August of 1993 through Plainfield Charter Township and is a development agency responsible for many improvements in the downtown area. Our DDA projects have contributed significantly to the growth and development of Comstock Park. Projects include infrastructure improvements, streetscape improvements, landscaping maintenance, parking lot and sidewalk maintenance, replacement and repairs, marketing and grant programs.
DDA project funding and maintenance is derived from capturing a percentage of the revenue from the growth in taxable values within the DDA District. Through an accumulating process, the DDA has escrowed sufficient funds to pay for projects without incurring debt or requiring bonding.
Upcoming Sewer/water construction
Plainfield Charter Township plans to complete a water and wastewater system improvements project in the downtown Comstock Park area this summer with construction beginning as early as May 31st and an ending estimated in mid-September.
Several roads and parking areas will be impacted as a result of construction. These locations are listed below, along with the current estimates for when the areas may be impacted. The following timelines are estimates and may change due to weather, delays in construction and other unforeseen circumstances.
1. Lamoreaux Dr., east of West River Dr. (open to local business traffic only)
June thru July
2. Public parking lot, southeast corner of Lamoreaux Dr. and West River Dr. (closed intermittently as necessary to install sewer)
Mid-June thru July
3. Southbound access road/parking area, on west side of White Pine Trail (closed as necessary to install sewer)
Mid-June thru August
4. Mill Creek Avenue, south of West River Dr. to Johnstone Supply (temporary road closure)
Early August thru mid-August
5. Stowell St. and Laramie Ave. (temporary road closure – Stowell St., local business traffic only – Laramie Ave.)
Mid-July thru August
6. West River Dr. (southbound lane closure)
Mid-August thru mid-September
Where road/parking lot closures are necessary, access will be limited to local business traffic only. Closures will be planned for non-peak traffic times if possible and will be coordinated with local businesses. Emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times.
Brian Huffman knows the value of good insurance. Huffman, owner of the State Farm Insurance Agency at 3938 West River Drive in downtown Comstock Park, said he and his staff came to work one Monday morning to find a car had crashed through the building. The driver had overshot the corner at Lamoreaux Drive.
“It happened late on a Sunday night,” recalled Huffman. “We got here on Monday morning, and there was a car sitting in the office. “We had good insurance,” he added.
Huffman’s father worked for State Farm, and Huffman followed in his father’s footsteps. Huffman began his career in 1987 working in claims for State Farm in Seattle WA for three years and then a year in Lansing. He decided to become an agent because he “didn’t want to stay in claims…sit in an office. “Agency gives opportunity to meet people, build relationships,” said Huffman. “It’s neat to see people come in…their kids were three when they first came here, now they’re driving.”