HARBOR SPRINGS—The Harbor Springs Downtown Development Authority is to have its first meeting since 2003 on Monday, said city manager Tom Richards.
Though it hasn't met in about seven years, Richards said the DDA continued to exist during that time and members continued to be appointed to the board by city council.
He said it is his understanding that the DDA may have stopped meeting because it had "no clear course of action" at the time.
"The DDA is not a subset of the city, but rather an organization that has its own goals and objectives," he said.
He said it seems that in 2003 "there wasn't a clear direction for what it was they wanted to accomplish," and there was no clear consensus on how to collect funds. And Richards said he did not think the DDA had been levying assessments or capturing funds during the last several years.
The meeting is to take place at 8 a.m. Monday, July 18, at city hall, Richards said.
When asked what prompted the call for Monday's meeting, Harbor Springs mayor Al Dika said, "There is an energetic group of people younger than me that want to make Harbor Springs more fun downtown. Fun for families, liven things up."
Dika said other communities nearby, such as Petoskey and Boyne City, have done a good job of doing just that.
"We're behind and we want to catch up," he said.
He said efforts such as the chamber's Placemaking Program, led by the Harbor Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Placemaking Committee, have "got everybody thinking" about how good Harbor Springs could be.
According to the city of Harbor Springs website, the DDA consists of the following members: Andy Bultman, Matthew Clarke, mayor Al Dika, Robert Mossburg, Jeff Graham, Mary Ellen Hughes, Darrell Lavender, Pam Pfeifle, Kathie Breighner, Josh Baker and city manager, ex-officio Tom Richards. The website also says the DDA meets irregularly.