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Kent County competing in "The Grand Strategy"

Downtown Grand Rapids
Rachel Kramer | CC BY 2.0

In the aftermath of the 2013 floods, Kent County communities along the Grand River are now in line to receive millions in federal funding for flood control and improving economic activity if the region wins a competition for those dollars.

“There’s a limit to what HUD or the federal government can provide and they just simply want to make sure that they’re spending their money as wisely as possible.”

One billion dollars appropriated by Congress after Superstorm Sandy. Kent County Assistant County Administrator, Wayman Britt says the region’s grant proposal covering 65 projects is $444 million. The strategy hinges on three key resilient values.

“One, to protect the critical infrastructures of the communities to safeguard against public safety and health issues and sustain the economy and then two, we want to restore and repurpose land and water assets to adapt and thrive…and then we want to establish an equitable and inclusive river corridor that attracts and welcomes and serves the diverse people of our community.”

Grand Rapids is one of 40 cities competing in “The Grand Strategy” along with cities like New York and Chicago. If its proposal is selected, the money comes in and the strategy is shared.

“So they feel that we have demonstrated the capacity to be able to provide a project that can help reduce the impact on federal funding as well as showcase how it can be done in other communities.

The county is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to clear the second phase. The federal government will award funding early next year.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.