Millennium Park Funding Snag Sets Project Back $1 Million After Donor Backs Out

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-05 20:06:40-04

A funding snag with a donor involved in the Millennium Park project has those who support the park looking to fill a big funding gap.

They are now missing $1 million in pledge money from a local businessman who couldn’t follow through with the donation.

Gainey Transportation, a company based in West Michigan, had promised deferred payments of $200,000 over a five-year period to help fund projects like the trails at the park.

However, after they declared bankruptcy in 2008 and were taken to court by Wachovia Bank for millions of dollars, things changed.

“That million dollars is still part of the project we need to go back and recoup,” said Mary Swanson, Kent County Assistant Administrator.

Swanson said around the first of the year, Harvey Gainey alerted Kent County that he wouldn’t be able to make those payments.

“It was at the end of 2012, he said to us, ‘I can’t defer this anymore. I have to let you know I am unable to make the pledge payments.'”, said Swanson.

The county will set out to raise money in the coming months to make up for the missing million.  Swanson doesn’t believe it will be a hard sell because west Michigan is generous.

Those interested in donating to the park fund can contact Kent County directly or contact the Kent County Park Foundation at the link below.