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Highlights from the Grand Rapids City Commissioners meeting

The Grand Rapids City Commission passed a resolution Tuesday to purchase 3.68 acres on the Grand River for the future development of a public park. The piece of land on Monroe Avenue north of 1-96 is part of deal the city made with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The park will include river related recreational activities and support river restoration. 

“So this park space really been is envisioned as the prime park space along the River front especially as the river development happens,” Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Director Dave Marquardt said. "This park space will be in an area of the river that will really give viewers up on land a good perspective of river kayaking, and some of the activity that will be taking place in the river once it is restored.”

Meanwhile, a public hearing was held as the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is proposing to expand the existing facility to include a new skilled nursing complex for up to 128 residents. The complex will consist of four single-story residence pods and a two-story community center. Dan Waun is a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. He says the new facility will be a major upgrade than the current home originally built in 1885.

“As you know, the members who live at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans call that their home," Waun said. "It’s more than a medical facility. With the new facility that we are currently planning to construct, this will resemble more of a home than the current facility.”

The city commission set a public hearing on March 27th to discuss the Housing Now! recommendations. Born out of recommendations made by the Housing Advisory Committee, the 11 recommendations are in response to the Affordable Housing Crisis.

Finally, the City Commission voted to end their contract with HRGov, the consulting firm hired by the city to find City Manager candidates. The firm was paid $25,000, and in turn presented the City Commission with 61 candidates. After 3 finalists were chosen and interviewed, the commissioners passed on them all. 

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