‘FixOurRoadsGR’ Campaign Aims At Extending Current Tax

Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-24 16:19:44-04

File photo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 24, 2014)- Potholes and road conditions are a constant hot topic throughout West Michigan.

Now, there’s an initiative to fix roads in Grand Rapids, but the price tag falls on taxpayers.

Grand Rapids voters will cast ballots May 6 on an initiative extending the two-tenths of one percent income tax currently dedicated to fixing Grand Rapids roads.

“The pot holes on the roads right now, it`s costing the school district,” Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said.
She says fixing district buses and other vehicles are costing parents and students money that could be spent on educational materials like books or computers.

The initiative comes with support from the Grand Rapids Public School district and many others, but was also met with resistance.  A lawsuit for an injunction to stop the election was filed but not allowed by the courts.

“Anyone driving our city streets and anyone walking our city sidewalks knows we have a long way to go,” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said.

The “Fix our Roads” campaign comes after a two-year study on the conditions of the roads, searching for remedies and funding. It also offers a bonus to homeowners.

“We’re going to take over responsibility for repairing your sidewalks; they will no longer be an obligation as a property owner,” Mayor Heartwell said.