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G.R. Voters Approve Permanent Parks Millage

Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation logo

The votes are in and Grand Rapids voters approved the parks, pools and playgrounds proposal.

“This is a big win for the community and something we’re celebrating.”

David Marquardt, City of Grand Rapids parks and recreation director says they’re all in a good mood at the parks and recreation department.  That’s because their proposal to create a permanent dedicated source of funding for Grand Rapids parks passed Tuesday with 70% voter support.

“To support continued investment in our park spaces, continued investment in keeping our pools open and operational and some additional support for our parks operation as well. So, its very exciting for the department and I think it’s extraordinarily exciting for our community.”

The original millage, was a seven-year tax designed to address a backlog of much-needed park repairs and to keep the pools open and fund new investments in parks.  It expires in 2021. … but now it will be a permanent tax which Marquardt says will really benefit the community.

“And what we have found with the first millage, that we are still operating under, is that the dedicated funding has allowed us to leverage nearly as much money as has been invested with these park dollars. I expect that to be the case moving forward.  We are unable to unlock significant grant dollars that we would not otherwise have access to without that dedicated funding.”

Marquardt says in addition to keeping the pools open, there are two new things the new millage will do, which include expanding recreational opportunities and supplementing operational work within our parks systems which will allow for better maintenance.