CITY OF MUSKEGON
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (DDA) /
BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (BRA)
April 13, 2021
The meeting was held electronically via Zoom. Chairperson M. Bottomley called the meeting to order
at 10:30 AM and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: M. Bottomley (Muskegon MI), B. Hastings (Muskegon MI), J. Riegler
(Muskegon MI), M. Kleaveland (Muskegon MI), M. Johnson Sr (Norton
Shores MI), J. Moore (Muskegon MI), H. Sytsema (Muskegon MI), J.
Wallace Jr (Muskegon, MI), F. Peterson (Muskegon, MI)
MEMBERS ABSENT: F. DePung D. Pollock, S. Black, D. Kalisz
STAFF PRESENT: P. Wills, Director of Strategic Initiatives; J. Eckholm, Economic
Development Director; L. Mikesell, Director of Development Services;
D. Alexander, Downtown Manager; B. Lewis, Finance Director; K.
Grant, Assistant Finance Director; A. Meisch, City Clerk; S. Pulos,
OTHERS PRESENT: F. Bednarek, Muskegon Museum of Art; K. Hallman, Muskegon
Museum of Art.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes as corrected of November 24, 2020 was made by H.
Sytsema supported by M. Kleaveland and on a voice vote unanimously approved.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS -- None.
BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY BUSINESS
Brownfield update – P. Wills gave an update on what plans might be coming to the BRA. J. Eckholm
told the BRA that a Brownfield Plan Amendment for Harbor 31 property on Muskegon Lake at
Shoreline Drive and Terrace Street will be presented to the BRA in the next month or two. No BRA
action was needed in April.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY BUSINESS
DDA Financial Report – B. Lewis reviewed the budget report from March 31 and said the budget is in
line. Expenses and revenues starting to come in for the Lakeshore Art Festival and Taste of Muskegon.
The revenues and expenses are in balance as it is three months away from the event. The DDA has
budgeted $25,000 to support the events. The Finance Department asked the DDA to increase the
budgeted amount to $50,000 but no action was taken. H. Sytsema expressed frustration of not having
enough detail in the budget to know where the DDA stands for funds available for grants and projects.
B. Lewis promised to update the report with more detail.
Motion to accept the financial report M. Johnson and supported by F. Peterson. Voice vote all in favor,
Mercy Health Arena bond payments – The DDA has accepted the debt payments for the arena roof and
ventilation at $215,000 annually for 10 years. The Finance Department is asking the DDA to rescind
that support and instead support the payment of new city bonds refinancing the debt at $130,000 a year
for 10 years. In the short-term, this is a cost savings in the annual budget of about $70,000.
Motion to rescind prior DDA support of debt service for the Mercy Health Arena roof and ventilation
system and for the next 10 years support the arena bond payments at $130,000 a year made by H.
Sytsema and supported by F. Peterson. Roll call vote: F. Peterson, B. Hastings, M. Bottomley, J.
Riegler, M. Kleaveland, M. Johnson Sr, J. Moore, H. Sytsema, voting Yea, none voting Nay.
Muskegon Museum of Art Funding Request -- F. Bednarek and K. Hallman of the Muskegon Museum
of Art presented on the museum’s expansion plans and $9.9 million fundraising campaign. The DDA
was asked to support the campaign with a $100,000 pledge over five years beginning in fiscal year
2022-23. The campaign is at 75 percent of goal. The expansion will allow the museum to display more
of its permanent collection and have larger gallery space for visiting exhibitions. Construction would
begin late 2021 or early 2022. The expansion would open in 2023. DDA members questioned the
museum officials on details of the expansion project. M. Johnson asked for more time to consider the
request in light of uncertainty of the DDA events budget. The DDA board overall expressed support of
the museum, of the expansion and assisting in reaching the goal. D. Alexander gave background on the
request that came from a meeting with the museum and F. Peterson. Staff is supporting the request.
Motion to consider the request but to table until the June meeting by M. Johnson and supported by J.
Moore. Roll call vote to table F. Peterson, B. Hastings, M. Bottomley, J. Riegler, M. Kleaveland, M.
Johnson Sr, J. Moore, H. Sytsema, voting Yea, none voting Nay.
Events post-COVID support – The DDA budget amended in August included $15,000 for post-COVID
marketing. At this point, D. Alexander recommended supporting the non-profit downtown events as
they attempt to get back in operations in 2021 after a year of no activity due to COVID. A. Meisch
outlined the approach of five events creating a fund through the Community Foundation for Muskegon
County. Such DDA funding could be put into that account.
Motion to support downtown events post-COVID with $15,000 in marketing funds and direct staff to
equally distribute it made by B. Hastings and supported by J. Moore. Motion was withdrawn.
Motion to direct the $15,000 in funds evenly to just the city’s/DDA’s Lakeshore Art Festival and Taste
of Muskegon made by J. Riegler and supported by J. Moore. Voice vote F. Peterson, B. Hastings, M.
Bottomley, J. Riegler, M. Kleaveland, J. Moore, H. Sytsema, voting Yea, none voting Nay.
Streetlighting on Terrace – L. Mikesell presented a request from DPW/Engineering on support of
decorative streetlighting for the redesign of the boulevard. The estimate for the poles would be
$165,000. The DDA is waiting on budget issues to make a decision at a future meeting. Streetlighting
is in the DDA plan as a priority.
Public participation – None.
Adjournment -- There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:19 p.m.