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Kentwood voters approve millage increase

Kentwood, MI

Voters passed a millage increase in Kentwood on Tuesday that will provide critical support for police and fire services.

Voters approved a permanent dedicated millage increase of 1.95 mills by 676 votes.

According to Kentwood Fire Chief Brent Looman, the last millage was passed in 2010 and expected to last 10 years.

“And at this point we’ve stretched it to 14, and this really kind of secures the future 7 to 10 years for both Police and Fire Departments.”

The increase will be levied starting July 1st of this year and is expected to generate more than $5.1 million in its first year. This will enable Kentwood’s Fire and Police departments to hire additional staff, replace vehicles and upgrade critical equipment to maintain response times and meet the growing needs for public safety, fire and medical services.

“We had to add staffing about a year and a half ago. We just had a difficult time maintaining our response times without adequate units on the road.”

Kentwood’s population has grown by 11.5% since 2010. During that time, police calls have risen 14% while fire calls have risen 36%.

“We only see it continuing to grow and we’ll have to be able to make sure we have the response times that we promise to the public.”

The new millage will also go to help fund a basic outdoor training facility in Kentwood, eliminating the need for travel expenses and overtime pay for training purposes.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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