Grand Rapids City Commission Report

Jul 12, 2017

After a month hiatus, the Grand Rapids City Commission re-convened this week to vote on a number of proposals, as commissioners first approved a millage renewal on next November’s ballot that will continue funding for the public library. Kent County voters first approved the 20-year millage in 1997 to help pay for renovations to the main branch downtown, as well as build three new library’s across the city. Library officials say the next 20 years will cover operations costs and improve early learning programs.

“We’re asking voters if they would continue this millage for another 20 years, this will be an infusion into the library that we can really focus on creating a stellar library system, including things like focusing on zero to five, and making sure all the children in our community are ready to enter school,” Public Library communications director Kristen Krueger-Corrado said.

If the millage is approved in November, Kent County homeowner’s taxes would remain the same.

PLANS ARE MADE TO MAKE PLANS FOR THE GRAND RIVER

In their continued vision to transform the Grand River into a local and tourist destination, city commissioners approved a resolution that will develop design guidelines for seven and a half miles along the east and west banks of the river. City officials identified 27 spaces for the development of additional parks and trails.

“Excited about this project, excited about the river corridor in general, you know to have a Grand River, which is the largest water shed here in Michigan, Grand Rapids being the second largest city in Michigan, we’ve got a lot of opportunity with the river and the corridor itself, I think it’s just an awesome thing,” Grand Rapids City Engineer Mark Declercq said.

$1.3 MILLION DOLLAR BIODIGESTER GETS SOME OUTSIDE HELP

Meanwhile, the city commission hired Tetra Tech of Michigan PC to oversee construction of a new bio-digester at the city’s water resource recovery facility. In a partnership with Founders Brewing Company, wastewater from the Brewery will flow into to the facility, where the new bio-digester will convert that waste into renewable energy. That energy will power the water resource recovery facility, with the addition of phosphorus being from the process which the city says they can then sell for profit.

The bio-digester is part of Mayor Rosalynn Bliss’ pledge to have Grand Rapids running on 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2025.