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Kent County to consider 29 projects for $127 million federal funding

The 29 projects were narrowed down from 300 proposals, focusing on improving community health, quality of life, economy, infrastructure and government operations.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County Administration has narrowed down which projects could receive a portion of $127.6 million dollars. The money is from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which has been allocated to Kent County.

There were 319 proposals originally considered for the funds. Now, Kent County has recommended 29 of those for Board of Commissioners consideration. It can choose to accept any, all or none of the recommendations.

Kent County Administrator, Al Vanderberg, called the funding "huge."

"It's like a generational, well, in fact, a multigenerational event," said Vanderberg, "It typically does not happen in the world of county and city government, where you get that much money sent from the federal government."

Voting on the projects will happen during a Dec. 1 or Dec. 15 meeting. 

"There's just so many," said Vanderberg, "I think we're going to look back, and future generations will look back on this, as a time when a real difference was made for the county with the ARPA funding."

The projects align with funding categories, which include improving quality of life, community health, infrastructure, economic innovation, the workforce and government operations. 

The 29 projects include: 

  1. Lead remediation: paint, pipe and training: $3.8 million.
  2. Medical Examiner facility: $6 million.
  3. Behavioral Health Crisis Center: $3.9 million.
  4. Kent County Parks/Greenway: requested $26 million, $10 million recommended.
  5. Kent County Sheriff's Office School Safety Radio Network: $2.8 million.
  6. Capital Enhancement for Facilities Serving Older Adults: $500,000 to $1 million.
  7. Kent County Homes Fund: $15 million to $25 million. 
  8. Kent County Equitable Housing Initiative, Housing Next: $525,000 requested, $500,000 recommended. 
  9. The Emory Arts and Culture Hub, The Diatribe: $2 million. 
  10. Boston Square Hub, Amplify GR: $5.9 million requested, $4 million to $6 million recommended. 
  11. Building Futures... Inspiring Dreams, Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes: $1 million. 
  12. Nourish Tomorrow Advancement Campaign, Feeding America West Michigan: $5 million requested, $2.5 million recommended. 
  13. Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership: $1 million. 
  14. Meijer Sports Complex Expansion, West Michigan Sports Commission: $2 million requested, $500,000 to $1 million recommended. 
  15. Wyoming City Center Bridge and Trail Activation, City of Wyoming: $10 million requested, $6 million recommended. 
  16. The Grand Agricultural Center of West Michigan, Kent County Youth Agriculture Association: $11.3 million requested, $5 million recommended. 
  17. John Ball Zoo Expansion and Enhanced Community Engagement: $20 million requested, $6 million to $10 million recommended. 
  18. Grand Rapids Public Museum West Entry and Gathering Space: $2 million requested, $1 million recommended. 
  19. Kent County Domestic Violence Action Network: $10 million requested, $4 million recommended.
  20. Transforming Kent County's Road Network, Kent County Road Commission: $20 million recommended, $3 million to $6 million recommended. 
  21. UMCH 900, United Methodist Community House: $2 million requested, $500,000 to $1 million recommended. 
  22. Fuel the Movement: Innovative Workforce Development for Economic Mobility, Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation: $3 million requested, $1 million recommended. 
  23. West Michigan Construction Institute Phase II Expansion, West Michigan Construction Institute: $1 million. 
  24. West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Development: $3 million requested, $600,000 to $1.2 million recommended. 
  25. Wyoming Kentwood Chamber, SMB & Workforce Development, Support and Training: $138,000 requested, $100,000 recommended. 
  26. Hispanic Center of West Michigan, Community, Economic and Workforce Development in Kent County's Hispanic Community: $2 million requested, $1.5 million to $2 million recommended. 
  27. AYA Youth Collective: $19.9 million requested, $2 million recommended. 
  28. Kent County Broadband Installation: $40 million requested, $10 million recommended. 
  29. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation, Children's Rehabilitation Hospital: $5 million requested, $3.5 million recommended. 

The County recommends allocating $109.5 million of the funds, with $7.3 million set aside in contingency funds. 

RELATED VIDEO: Public meeting addresses ARPA funding priorities in Kent Co.

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