Articles by Squire News

About Squire News
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

City Manager offers insight on DDAs

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

After reading last week’s article in the Rockford Squire, I thought it would be helpful to provide additional information on the City’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and the proposal to extend the term of the DDA for an additional thirty (30) years. As reported in the Squire the original DDA was formed in 1984. At the time a DDA is created, a base SEV is established, which represents the assessed value of all properties within the district. At the time Rockford’s DDA District was established, the total value was $2,679,400. The taxes generated from this value continue to go to the various taxing jurisdictions such as the County, Community College, Intermediate School District, Kent District Library and the City. Over time, as the value of the district increases, the new taxes generated above the base value are “captured” by the DDA and reinvested within the District, according to the Development Plan. Through this mechanism the taxes paid by the business/property owners within the District are reinvested in the form of capital projects to improve the overall business climate within the District. In my opinion, DDAs are one of the most effective economic development tools a small community has at its disposal. Overtime as the City and DDA continues to make public improvements within the District, private investment also accelerates. We have seen over the years the wonderful investment our business owners have made throughout the downtown area. This public/private partnership only serves to continue investment throughout the entire district. The chart below identifies the various taxing jurisdictions that are subject to capture within the DDA. Through this capture, the DDA collects approximately $192,000 for reinvestment within the District. Of the $192,000, shown in the chart, the City of Rockford is the largest capture of over $110,000. It is important to note that the City does not capture taxes from the Rockford Public Schools either for debt, operations or their special recreation millage. Of this capture, approximately $95,000 goes towards paying off the downtown streetscape bond issue, with another $25,000 going each year towards the Peppler Park Renovation project. The City and DDA are also splitting the cost of the Northland Pontiac purchase and renovation to the parking lots. The remaining money, about $60,000 per year […]

Administrator speaks on DDA longevity

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio said he thought the Squire’s article last week on DDAs did not make clear that DDAs can last forever if not allowed to expire. He offered this comment for clarification for our readers. In effect, DDAs can last “forever” if the city, township, or village extends them by amending their development and financing plans and time frame while they currently exist. So, if Rockford extends the existing DDA for another 10, 15, 20, 25 years, it can at any time continually amend its plan and extend the DDA’s life. If the City wants to amend the plan and extend the time in 2009, the DDA would exist for however long the plan called for (up to 30 years or until 2039). Then in 2015, the City wants to amend the plan again and extend the time, it can do so (for up to 30 years or until 2045). The County could not “opt out” of having it’s taxes captured by the DDA. If, however, the Rockford DDA ended based on its current development and financing plan and the City took no action to amend or extend it, then the DDA would end. At that point, if Rockford wanted to have a DDA, it would have to create a new one. At this point, the County could opt out, because state law (which was changed in 1995) allows it to. A 30-year time span is not required, but seems to be common to many DDAs.

News Bits – August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

North Kent Service Center to retain summer hours The North Kent Service Center (NKSC) is keeping the summer hours of Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., as new service hours for their clients and the community. NKSC has found that these hours have been beneficial for everyone during the summer months. With the longer hours, NKSC is able to meet the need of clients who are working, and community members wishing to drop off items at the donation center after work, and saves on operational expenses. The donation area will also be open Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Please do not drop off donations at the front door on Sunday or when gates are closed.)

Rockford Register – August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thursday, August 27 Seniors “Out To Lunch Bunch” at Candlestone Inn—Have lunch at the newly remodeled inn in Belding. Return around 2 p.m. Cost is $2 for bus fee. For reservations and bus pick-up times/locations, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Saturday, August 29 Rockford Farm Market—8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October 31, in the South Squires Street parking lot, off Main St., downtown Rockford, featuring Michigan-grown produce, fresh baked goods, flowers and plants. “Shootin’ for Home” 3-D Archery Fundraiser—8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sparta Hunting and Fishing Club, 13218 Long Lake Dr., Sparta, to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Enjoy 30 targets, homemade food, raffles, door prizes, and Church Archery Teams Challenge. For further details, call Jeffrey deJager at (616) 696-9666. “Little Princess” Auditions—10 a.m. at Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St. SW, just off Division, Grand Rapids. Five men, five women and 13 youth ages 8-13 are needed. There will be 12 performances, Thur.-Sat., Nov. 19 to Dec. 5, 2009. For an appointment, please call (616) 455-1001. 3rd Annual Driving Fore Conservation Golf Outing—9 a.m. at Tyler Creek Golf Course & Campground. Four-person scramble begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by reception and prizes. Register online at Your participation benefits conservation programs of Kent Conservation District, Timberland RC&D, and Trout Unlimited of West Michigan. Monday, August 31 “Little Princess” Auditions—7 p.m. at Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St. SW, just off Division, Grand Rapids. Five men, five women and 13 youth ages 8-13 are needed. There will be 12 performances, Thur.-Sat., Nov. 19 to Dec. 5, 2009. For an appointment, please call (616) 455-1001. Tuesday, September 1 Mended Hearts Meeting—7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395. Country Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Wednesday, Sept. 2 Business Counseling—Starting a new business or have […]

A Message for You – August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

What are we convincing ourselves of? by MARCIA HUFSTADER Member, Third Church of Christ, Scientist Every day we are bombarded by thoughts, opinions and advertisements that come to us through friends and all sorts of media. A firm conviction of God’s goodness and all-ness enables us to see through that haze and therefore to think clearly. For instance, there are so many reports that would try to convince parents that children are in danger from all sorts of sources. When I hear such reports, I can either go with that idea, get wound up in fear and worry, or I can stay with the fundamental truth that God, good, governs. God, divine Mind, is perfectly governing all of His children harmoniously all the time. God wouldn’t create His likeness and then not maintain it. Could God ever be absent or unavailable when God is infinite, ever-present Love? All of God’s children (which we all are) respond to His direction and can hear His voice in a way we can understand. There is an unbreakable bond between God and his idea, man. It is much more peaceful, beneficial and accurate to understand God’s protecting, governing power than to fill our thoughts with fear. This peace helps us make better decisions from day to day, and helps us to do exactly what we should be doing. No matter how many times we hear fearful reports, it doesn’t make them more real than God’s caring, loving presence. Our best protection is listening to God, being alert, and using the ideas we receive in prayer.

1 1,052 1,053 1,054 1,055 1,056 1,245