Downtown Development Area No. One.

Downtown Development Area No. One.

Sec. 18.5-31. – Development plan and tax increment financing plan, adoption.

The purpose of Ordinance No. 258-86 is to approve and adopt a development plan and a tax increment financing plan, for the City of Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Area No. One, generally described as the Edison Sault Electric Company Power Canal on the south, Bingham Avenue and Court Street on the east, Maple/Ridge Street on the north and Osborn Boulevard on the west, and the Edison Sault Power Canal on the north, Court Street from the power canal to Easterday Avenue, Easterday Avenue from Court Street to Ashmun Street then south on Ashmun Street to Adam’s Avenue on the east and the south side of Pine Street on the west. All properties adjoining or abutting the west side of Court Street, the north side of Easterday Avenue or either side of Ashmun Street would be included in the district.

The development plan and tax increment financing plan for the City of Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Area No. One provides that the method of financing the development is feasible, and the downtown development authority has the ability to arrange the necessary financing; that the proposed development is reasonable and necessary to carry out the purpose of the act; that the land included within the development area to be acquired is reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose of the development plan and the act in an efficient and economically satisfactory manner; that the development plan is in reasonable accord with the master plan of the city; that public services are adequate to protect the area; and that any changes in zoning, streets, street levels, intersections and utilities proposed are reasonably necessary for the development and for the city.

Improvements. Each of the improvements explained below is considered important to the welfare of downtown Sault Ste. Marie. Explanations of the general types of improvements to be constructed are followed by a detailed table which indicates the location, estimated cost, and priority level of the specific projects. The location description shows the rough area of a project, while the specific parcels to be affected are indicated on Maps 4 through 7. The estimated cost figures are based on preliminary evaluation of the proposed projects [by] the city planning and development department.

Every project is assigned to one (1) of four (4) priority levels. Projects assigned a higher priority (level one being higher than level two) are expected to be undertaken before lower priority projects are begun. Each priority level also has an estimated construction time frame. Level one corresponds to the first two (2) years of the plan, level two represents the next four (4) years, level three matches the next nine (9) years, and level four encompasses the last five (5) years of the plan. These time frames indicate when the DDA estimates the projects in the levels can be constructed.

It is recognized that circumstances may alter actual construction dates and affect the order in which projects may be undertaken. The DDA may undertake any project contained within the plan at any time regardless of the priority level when the DDA determines it is in the best interest of the plan to do so. However, no project can be added or deleted without amending the plan, nor can the life of the plan extend beyond twenty (20) years.

It is also recognized that circumstances may require some variation in the precise location of a project or improvement. Some variation in the exact location of a project or improvement is acceptable if the DDA determines that variation is still consistent with the intent of the plan.

The reason for organizing the improvements in this manner is that available financing may vary widely. While the downtown development authority considers its tax increment revenue projections for the development area to be reasonable, such figures are projected estimates only, and the actual amount of tax increment funds generated will vary from the projection to some degree. (See Area One Tax Increment Financing Plan). It is recognized that the total estimated cost of the development projects is greater than the projected revenues in the tax increment financing plan. This overrun is deliberate and reflects the possibility that the authority may receive more funds than it projected and/or actual project costs may be less than anticipated.

In the reverse case, if sufficient funds do not become available and/or costs are greater than anticipated so that all projects cannot be completed within the twenty-year life of the plan the priority level system provides that higher priority projects will be completed first.

Finally, much depends on the human side of the equation. Several of the projects outlined in this plan require the help and cooperation of citizens, businesses and property owners. Such cooperation will affect the timetable and details of the projects. The DDA shall make every effort to complete the plan as outlined, although actual circumstances may dictate otherwise. In such an event, the development plan shall be amended as necessary. (Grounds for amending the plan include: dropping a project from the development plan, adding new projects, or substantially altering the nature or the location of a project. All amendments require city commission approval.)

The duration of the plan shall be twenty (20) years from the date of the amended Ordinance No. 491-06 adopted October 16, 2006, or until such time that all planned improvements are completed, whichever comes first.

Transactions between city and authority. It is the general intent of the plan that any property acquired and improvements completed as a result of the plan will become the property of the city. The city will retain full control of all improvements unless it chooses to make arrangements with other parties. The DDA, as a public entity created by the city with its own authority to own land and other property, may elect to be the purchasing or holding party. Subsequent arrangements regarding ownership of such acquired lands and facilities may be made by the city and the DDA as may be in the best interest of both the city and the development plan. In the event there is a dispute between the city and the DDA as to ownership of property, the decision of the city commission shall prevail and be final.

The plan provides for the preparation of a base year assessment roll; the preparation of an annual captured assessment value assessment roll; establishment of a development fund; payment of tax increments to downtown development authority; for use of monies in the development fund; an annual report; downtown development authority budget; and an annual audit.

The boundaries of the plan area as defined in subsection (a) shall be developed in accordance with the amended development plan and amended tax increment finance plan adopted June 15, 2009.

(Ord. No. 258-86, 11-17-86; Ord. No. 293-88, § 1, 9-19-88; Ord. No. 373-93, 5-3-93; Ord. No. 475-04, §§ 1, 2, 4-19-04; Ord. No. 508-09, 6-15-09)