GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday’s virtual meetings of the Grand Rapids City Commission was a busy one. Actions were taken on a gun buyback program, the upcoming election, the Census, and the restoration the Grand River. Action was also taken on a pilot program providing e-scooters and bike sharing in downtown Grand Rapids.
The gun buyback program is expected to be held in October. The commission allotted $20,000 to be used to set up the program and buy firearms. The amount paid for each weapon will depend on the gun. Details on the gun buyback program
The commission moved on introducing e-scooters and a bikeshare pilot program into downtown Grand Rapids. A budget of $400,000 was approved for the program for 18 months of rentals of stand-on electric scooters, electric assist bicycles, and sit-down electric scooters.
Commissioners, during a meeting of the committee of the whole and as the full city commission, further heard updates on a wide variety of topics:
- The Homeless Outreach Team, a homelessness work group in cooperation with Network 180.
- The progress of an investment strategy for a total of $6.4 million in aid to residents, including $250,000 for rent and mortgage assistance for residents
- Adding more social zones for businesses, notably restaurants.
- An update on how elections will be conducted, both by mail and in person.
- An update on census progress in the city, which has seen an estimated response rate of 91.3 percent but a predicted loss of $313 million over 10 years due to the remaining 8.7 percent non-response.
- An update on the restoration of the Grand River, specifically a grant from the Grand Rapids Foundation to allow actions to assure the restoration provides racial and economic equity within the project.
A public hearing was set for the commission’s meeting on September 29 at 7 p.m. for the proposed commemorative renaming of Monroe Center NW as Breonna Taylor Way. Taylor, who was killed by officers in Louisville, Ky., on March 13, was born and raised in Grand Rapids.
A public hearing was set for the commission’s October 13 meeting at 7 p.m. on a proposal to ban smoking in the city’s public parks and playgrounds.