EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — East Grand Rapids is placing a millage request on the ballot Tuesday and it has everything to do with renovating the parks and playgrounds. The city, known for its trails and outdoor spaces, is looking to bring new life to them with an up to $7 million millage proposal.
Reeds Lake and all the nature around it, the trails, parks and playgrounds, are popular attractions for residents in East Grand Rapids. City officials want to focus on those attractions and renovate them with the millage.
“Now, some of the playgrounds are almost 30 years old. So it's kind of time to invest back in our community," East Grand Rapids Mayor Katie Favale said.
Manhattan Park will be the big focus - adding bathrooms, new playgrounds, new sports fields and other amenities. But trails will also be renovated, a dog park will be added and new elementary school playgrounds installed.
"A lot of these projects were existing, and had been on the list to do for a number of years," East Grand Rapids City Manager Shea Charles said. "It's a good opportunity to take advantage of good market conditions, things of that nature to proceed with this type of project.”
Both Charles and Mayor Favale say this is financially the smartest time for the renovations.
“The bond rates are really low; it's a really nice time to take advantage of those rates and do something, make some improvements for our community," Mayor Favale said.
If approved, the .56 millage would cost the average East Grand Rapids homeowner about $112 dollars over 20 years.
“We are a very outdoor loving, enthusiastic community. There's so many people always riding and biking our trails going around Reed's lake. It's just very important to our community, one of the premier things about East Grand Rapids," Mayor Favale said.
If approved, the projects will move in phases starting late next year or 2023, with the school playgrounds most likely the first to undergo the renovations and all the projects continuing on for two or three years. Residents would have the opportunity to give their input on design and layout during city meetings.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.