Downtown Development Authority

Mission Statement

The City of Watervliet Downtown Development Authority (DDA) seeks to promote economic growth and revitalization within the business district. The DDA will lead a pro—active campaign of business retention and recruitment.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Downtown Development Authority is to be recognized as the organization providing key leadership in the development of a market driven, dynamic downtown. The downtown will enjoy competitive, fully leased offices, transportation, recreation, mixed use development, unique retail and commercial shopping options including dining, overnight accommodations and entertainment.

DDA Community Role

The DDA Role is to be an agency responsible for improvements in the downtown area or district. DDA projects have contributed greatly to the growth and development of downtown. Using Incremental property taxes collected from downtown properties the DDA has financed many public improvements which have led to unprecedented public investment. The improvement projects undertaken in connection with the plan will enhance the shopping environment of the downtown area and encourage movement between the retail core and adjacent parking areas. The projects will reinforce downtown development programs and assure the success of the City’s redevelopment efforts. The purpose of the DDA is found further and is authorized by Act 197 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1975 as amended.

DDA Board of Directors
  • Krista Krogel
  • Tom Gear
  • Tim Freeburn
  • Deah Muth (Mayor)
  • Karl Bayer
  • The DDA meets the third Thursday of every month and encourages the public attendance at its meetings. The DDA encourages public input by voice at its meetings or by email to the Chair. Comments in writing to the Chair will be read in public session becoming part of the meeting record.
Completed Activities and Core Goals

Since its creation in 1985, the DDA Board has held monthly public meetings and has carried out a number of projects. Major accomplishments since 1985 include:

  1. The 1987 Community Development Block Grant Revitalization Project.
  2. The purchase of the Judd Lumber Site
  3. Past and Current Upgrades to Veteran’s Park
  4. Improvements to the Mill Site
  5. Improvements to Flaherty Park
  6. Improvements to Hays Park
  7. Funding to Help Construct a Skate Park
  8. Improvements on Church Street
  9. Funding to Help Build Canoe Launch
  10. Providing Loan Resources to Arclight Brewery
  11. Providing Grants for Façade Improvements to a Variety of Downtown Businesses
  12. Provided Funding for Infrastructure Improvements and Repairs Including Street Lighting and Sidewalks
  13. Contributed $10,000 towards the Lioness’ Playground Project in Hays Park
  14. Provided $55,000 in Grant Match Funding for Improvements to the West Side Alley Project
  15. Contributed $5,000 in Funding in Support of the Proposed County Park in Watervliet.
  16. Contributed $10,000 in Grant Funds towards the Re-landscaping and improvements to Library Park
  17. Currently the DDA is Undertaking a Planning and Vision Project to Prepare a Comprehensive Beautification and Development Plan for the DDA District.