How Tuesday's vote will affect G.R. roads & sidewalks

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Voters in Grand Rapids have agreed to help pay for better roads and sidewalks. Tuesday, residents overwhelmingly approved a tax extension that was first approved in 2010, allowing for more road funding for the next 15 years.

According to the city, this will be good for residents and those who visit Grand Rapids: the roads will be better to drive on and the sidewalks will be nicer to walk on.

"Now instead of triage, a little here and there, we will be able to do better repairs," said deputy City Manager, Eric DeLong, who says city leaders can now start planning future projects. "We will be able to achieve good and fair condition roads over 15 years. Without this vote, no hope of doing that at all."

RELATED: Grand Rapids passes roads tax extension

Voters also said yes to eliminating an ordinance requiring property owners to pay for sidewalk repairs.

Becky Dickenson, a Keller Williams agent, says in the past, homeowners had to pay for sidewalk repairs before they could sell their house. Now the city will take care of the cost.

Tuesday's vote was part of an overall effort to build a better community; it was obvious by the overwhelming support at the polls that residents wanted that too.

The money for road improvements won't be available until July of next year, however, the changes to the sidewalk ordinance went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.


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