GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- A proposed tax to help Grand Rapids' parks, pools and playgrounds is one step closer to a public vote.
Tuesday morning, the Committee of the Whole approved the language for the proposed city charter amendment. The proposed tax would be .98 mills for seven years. Funding from the millage would be primarily used to improve the city's green spaces, which one city commissioner says the city has been disinvesting from for 15 years.
"A strong city has strong parks and we have long ignored our parks here in Grand Rapids," said City Manager Greg Sundstrom. "It's time to begin reinvestment, to bring them back to where they were so we can create an environment where families will want to buy and live in Grand Rapids."
The millage would not replace money already set aside for parks, pools and playgrounds in the city budget. The ballot proposal now goes to the Attorney General for language approval.
During Tuesday morning's meeting, the Committee of the Whole also approved a resolution to increase rates at city parking meters by $0.25 an hour, starting August 1. Parking commissioners say meter fees have remained the same since 1998, and the increase will bring metered parking more in line with off-street parking.
The Committee of the Whole also addressed creating a subsidy for the Grand Rapids Public Museum's planned expansion, as well as selling abandoned and foreclosed properties to the Kent County Land Bank so it can put the properties back on the market. Because the committee did not unanimously approve both proposals, they will be further discussed during the city commission meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m.