Friends in the news

Check out the 2016 Parks Millage Report

The City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Department recently released their 2016 Parks Millage Report. It is chock full of millage data and gives park users a clear glimpse of the future. So for any Friends out there who have wondered how millage dollars were spent or if their park is next in line, this report is worth a read!

As a quick recap, Grand Rapidians approved a seven year millage in November 2013 and millage based investments began in 2014. The millage committed to repairs, rehabilitation, and new amenities across the City parks system. Page two of the report easily walks readers through a breakdown of these three categories—the page could almost function as a flyer at community meetings—and includes the noticeably longer swimming pool season, new splash pads, and court resurfacing. Next is a breakdown of exactly what the millage funded in 2016, including 24 new playground structures and six converted futsol courts. Together, these pages offer a comprehensive view of millage updates from this past year and a quick list of items that are not funded by the millage including Department staffing and administrative tasks.

Of particular note is the new online investment map that allows park lovers to track millage investments in their park and in their ward. The map will track millage spending each year so that park users can easily determine if their park has seen millage funded improvements and compare millage investments park to park. The map provides a new level of transparency that makes it easier than ever for our residents to stay informed and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is excited to follow along as investments are made! Check out the map and follow along with us here!

Finally, on page five there’s a little chart with a big impact. The chart details the remaining years of the millage and the timeline for parks to receive their improvements. For any neighbors out there who are a fiscal year away from receiving park improvements, this chart is a great heads up! Now is a great time to get back out to your neighborhood park and starting thinking about potential improvements because neighbors will be asked to share their thoughts during the community-driven design process.

The Millage Report can be viewed online and is a quick and easy read and worth your time, especially if your park is coming up soon! Happy reading!

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