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Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 09/12/12
Future DDA projects
include corral, signage
by CHRIS GRAYSpring cleaning funded by the Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) could be in the mix.
Observer Staff Writer
The DDA is considering two projects for 2013 to improve the aesthetics of Romeo per its Downtown Blueprint 2006 document.
The first would be to construct a dumpster corral similar to the one found in the southwest quadrant of downtown. This new corral would be located in the northeast quadrant for businesses like Uptown Buscemi's and Pamela's Catering.
The second project would be the installation of a kiosk that would help provide information to pedestrians.
At the DDA's Sept. 5 meeting, Kim Hale, DDA executive director, said given the DDA's limited budget that the dumpster corral could be a feasible project.
"To me, it looks like that whole northeast quadrant needs some loving," she said.
Village President and DDA Secretary Mike Lee agreed, saying he has heard multiple complaints about the dumpster area in that quadrant.
"That might be probably one of the near, closer aspects of what we might want to do with a project," he said. "It could be a smaller endeavor of sticks and bricks for us."
He said, though, that the DDA has to be cautious about expenditures since it has concerns of running out of funding in three years.
Hale said the DDA has $35,050 in spendable funds set aside for bricks and mortar projects in its 2012-13 budget.
DDA Treasurer Carol Humphreys said about $35,050 is spendable once the DDA receives Tax Increment Financing (TIF) payments in March, meaning the projects wouldn't likely begin until the spring.
Humphreys said the kiosk would be useful for posting maps or current events for people to view while they're in town.
"That's what the merchants have been really asking about is some sort of way-finding in town," Humphreys said.
The DDA is considering placing the kiosk in the northeast quadrant.
A third project discussed was Tayor Alley, located in the northeast quadrant, but the original plans called for a $180,000 improvement that included dumpster corrals and other features.
DDA Director Jason Arnott worked on the plans for the alleyway, saying they need to still determine the location of sewer lines before any improvements could take place.
Finding a way
The DDA discussed the potential for purchasing signage in order to lead people downtown.
Hale said merchants approached her asking if the DDA could procure a 120-inch by 120-inch sign that could switch out letters to inform drivers about local happenings. The sign would also include advertising space for businesses.
"It would eventually pay for the sign and become an ongoing revenue stream," Hale said.
The sign costs $5,500 for construction and installation. It would be located on M-53.
Lee pointed out the DDA's funding is supposed to be spent in the central business district only, which doesn't include M-53.
Hale said the DDA should be able to as long as whoever is advertised on the sign is within the district. However, who maintains the sign still needs to be decided, she said.
"In my opinion, this is more necessary than having information on the kiosk in town," she said. "We need to get more people into town first."
Lee said the DDA could approach Pure Michigan for funding when it comes to signage for both the way-finding kiosk and highway signage.