DDA OKs $300K for Main Street Light Poles

Some rusted-out decorative light poles on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor can be replaced as a result of a $300,000 allocation made by the board of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. The total estimated cost of the project is $516,000 for 81 light poles.

Downtown Ann Arbor Main Street light pole

Downtown Ann Arbor Main Street light pole on northeast corner of Main & William. Photograph is from the city of Ann Arbor, taken April 2012.

Based on the DDA board’s resolution, it’s the DDA’s expectation that the city of Ann Arbor will make up the difference of $216,000. The board’s action came at its July 3, 2013 meeting.

Responding to an emailed query from The Chronicle earlier this year, city of Ann Arbor staff indicated that in early 2012 two of the light poles fell – due to a structural failure at the base of the poles caused by rust. After inspection of all the poles, two additional light poles were deemed to be in immediate risk of falling and were also replaced.

The DDA’s resolution indicates that the city of Ann Arbor’s budget approval process this year had determined that the city would allocate $216,000 for the project. What the Ann Arbor city council actually did on May 20, 2013 was to alter the DDA’s budget by recognizing additional TIF revenues of more than $568,000, and shifting $300,000 of that revenue from the DDA’s TIF fund to the DDA’s housing fund.

The council’s resolution also recommended that the DDA spend $300,000 of its TIF fund on the Main Street light pole replacement. And in response to an emailed query from The Chronicle, city administrator Steve Powers indicated that the city council will be asked to act on the matter either at its July 15 or Aug. 8 meeting. At the July 3 DDA board meeting, DDA executive director Susan Pollay noted in her remarks to the board that if the board approved the resolution, at that point the council would be asked to act.

This brief was filed from the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301 where the DDA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow: [link]