Supporters of zoo, museum millage claim victory

Kent County voters pass zoo millage

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Friends of the John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum claimed a victory just before 11 p.m. Tuesday night. 

As of 11:35 p.m. with 96 of 248 precincts reporting, 73,052 residents have voted "yes" and 49,552 have voted against the millage. 

The millage would provide funding to the John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The measure says the facilities would use the funds to care for animals, artifacts, and repair and improve exhibits. According to the ballot, if the millage passes it would raise roughly $9.2 million in its first year. 

But not all of that money would go towards the Zoo and Museum. 

Per law, $414,000 of that $9 million would go to local cities and communities in Kent County. That money can be used to fund public improvements in downtown districts, among other things.

Now if the millage passes, it would cost the average home owner $37 a year. That dollar amount is based on a property value assessed at $170,000.

Opponents of the millage believe all the money should go to the cause and not a variety of cities and villages. 

Those for the millage say after losing a significant amount of public funding over time, the measure will ensure both facilities can be maintained, repaired, and improved. 

(© 2016 WZZM)


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