Task Force Study Underway

Four Members of Duluth City Council and Downtown Development Authority exploring possibility of DDA's taking over management of city-owned properties.

A task force comprised of two members each from the Duluth City Council and the Duluth Downtown Development Authority has been formed to explore the DDA’s taking over management of the city’s rental properties including city-owned buildings in the Old City Hall Block, now being called The Block.

The DDA would handle leasing, managing, maintaining, and collecting rents from tenants if a proposed agreement is approved by the city council. Rent money would be used to pay for maintenance, repairs and renovations to the city-owned properties.

City staff currently manage these properties.

Members of the task force are Councilmen Greg Whitlock and Kelly Kelkenberg and DDA members Bill Weaver and Maxine Garner.

The task force is also studying expanding the role of the DDA in downtown development and redevelopment and expanding the DDA’s boundaries.

City staff recently prepared a detailed inventory of property owned by the city that will help in the process.

Janice Yarbrough has been assigned to assist the DDA. A 27-year city employee, Yarbrough most recently managed the Duluth Festival Center.

DavidE September 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Why doesn't the city sell the properties to current tenants if interested? Then they can maintain the properties and it is off the back of taxpayers? I know why, certain people in the city want this to be gold mine and to put high-density high-rise buildings there.
Dusty Graham September 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
In my opinion, the DDA is a bit too influenced by City Staff. This move, I feel, would simply give the staff even more control without Council oversight. I do agree that the City should get out of the business of competing with landlords with their own tax money, but I don't have the confidence that the DDA can do any better than Council has.


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