The initiation of a Downtown Development Authority was originally considered in 1989. In September of 1989 the idea of creating a DDA along M-46 (Gratiot Road) was brought to the Board. After a great deal of discussion throughout the community, the effort failed with the final vote of the Board.
Approximately six years ago (2003), the Township again tried to investigate the creation of a DDA, but once again, the process was put to a halt due to unsuccessful cooperation from the County. The County at the time felt that they did not have the resources or the funds available for us to capture. Without the County’s financial support the formation of a DDA was put on hold.
Then in 2006, the Thomas Township Business Association approached the Thomas Township Board in regards to implementing a Downtown Development Authority District in Thomas Township. Since that initial approach of the Business Association, we worked extremely hard toward creating the DDA. A DDA Work Committee Board was formed and the members included; Bill Martin, Fred Gray, Tom Radewahn, Bob Frank, Pat Wurtzel, John Bintz, Reverend Robert Richards, Rob Eggers, Ed Brosofski, Ellen Ryder-Petre, Vern Weber, Joe LeFevre, as well as Russ Taylor, Township Manager and Dan Sika, Community Development Director. The DDA Work Committee tentatively designated the DDA district and proceeded to contact property owners and business owners within the proposed district. Three informational meetings were held in which letters of invitation went out to each property and business owner within the DDA district; Several news articles in reference to the DDA were also published in both The Saginaw News and The Township Times. Thomas Township even went as far as contacting each business owner within the District to get a feel for what they wanted to be able to accomplish with the creation of the DDA. What was found through this is that approximately 80% of the business owners that were contacted were in favor of implementing the DDA District in Thomas Township.
On June 19, 2007, Thomas Township adopted Ordinance No. 07-G-01 creating and establishing the Downtown Development Authority of Thomas Township. The DDA was granted all powers permitted a Downtown Development Authority under the Act. In creating and establishing the DDA, the Township found that the DDA was necessary for the best interests of the public to halt property value deterioration and increase property tax valuation where possible in the Township’s business district, to eliminate the causes of said deterioration and to promote economic growth.
In October of 2008, Thomas Township approved the collection of a 2 mill levy on all non-residential and non-agricultural parcels in the DDA District. Funds from this levy will be used to finance the activities of the DDA.