An expression of gratitude

City of Grand Rapids officials thankful for remarkable investments that will impact residents and visitors for generations
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Mayor Rosalyn Bliss gives the 2018 State of the City address.
Mayor Rosalyn Bliss. Grand Rapids Magazine file photo.

As the Michigan legislature wraps up a historically productive legislative session, City of Grand Rapids officials are reflecting on the remarkable investments and policy achievements that will benefit the City of Grand Rapids and all those who live, work and play in the City.

Michigan’s bipartisan Fiscal Year plan, the “Make it in Michigan” budget included $35 million for construction and development of two Grand Rapids fire stations and $6 million for construction of a new MLK Park Lodge. These requests were spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and Representative Kristian Grant.

Mayor Rosalyn Bliss gives the 2018 State of the City address.
Mayor Rosalyn Bliss. Grand Rapids Magazine file photo.

In addition to specific funding for the capital projects, State of Michigan budget funding totaling over $50 million went to non-profits and community partners for projects in Grand Rapids. That funding fueled projects to improve infrastructure, affordable and middle income housing, lead pipe replacement, closing health equity gaps and expanding skills training, and other programs that directly benefit Grand Rapidians.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss stated that she was, “thankful for the significant investment the State has made in the Grand Rapids community. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and our entire Grand Rapids delegation including Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and State Representatives John Fitzgerald, Carol Glanville, Kristian Grant, Rachel Hood and Phil Skaggs delivered meaningful investments that will impact residents and visitors for generations.”

New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Photo courtesy of City of Austin, 2017.
Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington. Courtesy photo.

City Manager Mark Washington said he is appreciative of the State’s $41 million it dedicated to build the City’s two new fire stations and MLK Park Lodge.

“I am grateful to legislators for this significant investment in public safety and efforts to improve fire services in our growing City,” he said. “Likewise, I am excited about improving the MLK Park Lodge – a treasured community asset and significant investment in the Third Ward. The State funding is helping us leverage existing funding from the Parks millage and Third Ward Equity Fund to make this project a reality.”

In addition to the funding measures, officials are also appreciative of numerous new laws passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor centering around public safety and gun violence prevention. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said that the safe storage and extreme risk protection orders should curb the number of gun deaths throughout the state.

The legislature also prioritized legislation that protects the rights of all LGBTQIA+ persons, safe and equitable access to voting and providing new tools and investments in increasing housing and ensuring all residents have safe, stable and permanent housing. We applaud their work to pass over 150 bipartisan bills this year and the Governor’s willingness to assist in making long overdue reforms and investments that will benefit everyone in Grand Rapids and the State of Michigan.

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