Onto. DDA to fill vacancies: Group to be five members short

ONTONAGON — The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will be five members short in coming months following the resignation of Chairperson Dan Sullivan and ending term of trustee Alan Ralph.

At the Wednesday meeting, Sullivan announced his resignation via letter and Ralph indicated his intent to not seek reappointment following his term expiration in March.

Sullivan, who works as a pilot and was out of state, submitted a brief letter declaring his resignation following schedule and life changes.

“Dan is a busy guy, he’s not here that much anymore…he certainly has a strong continued interest in Ontonagon doing things that he thinks will be beneficial to the community in the months and years ahead but outside the DDA,” said Ralph. “Frankly his schedule and lifestyle don’t allow for him to continue as chairman.”

Ralph indicated his intent to pursue other projects.

“Dan and I are…individuals that embrace change and we feel that change of leadership, so to speak, on the DDA is not a bad thing,” Ralph said. “Good turnover, new blood, new faces, new ideas is good anywhere at any level.”

With the departures the DDA will be five members short and replacements are needed. Business owners, residents and property owners among them, though there may be positions open to county residents even if they don’t own property in the village.

DDA trustee and village president Ken Waldrop expressed a desire to see those positions filled before the DDA starts new projects.

The DDA is currently wrapping up their beachfront project that reopened a historical beach near the downtown. Ralph, in particular, was a key player in the project and would like to be a part of completing it even if unofficially.

“The beach project has been a special project for me, I would not mind officially or unofficially…spearheading the completion,” Ralph said.

The goal is to have the cleanup done by memorial day for beach goers.

“We would like to finish at least to make sure this project is finished (so) that we aren’t leaving a bad taste, especially with our new partners who supported us,” said trustee Jacek Olszewski.

The DDA voted unanimously to work to eventually hand over the beachfront to the recreation commission once the work was done and also voted unanimously to request $3,000 in funding for the year from the city council.

The DDA also discussed the need to renew and amend the Tax increment funding (TIF) plan to continue it after 2020.

The next DDA meeting will take place on Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. where DDA recruitment, the budget request and the recreational meeting will be discussed.