Grand Rapids stands to lose entire system unless investment is made now
Caroline MacGregor February 13, 2013 | WGVU Right now 63% of Grand Rapids Streets are in
such bad shape that the number will rise to 94% in nine years’ time if action
is not taken quickly.
Suzanne Schultz is the head of the Sustainable Streets Task Force. For over a year the task
force has met twice a month looking at road conditions, assessing how the
situation deteriorated so quickly and finding funding sources, and solutions. Schultz
says state and local investment is needed now to save the system.
“When you go from good or fair to poor you hit significantly different numbers as far as miles you can maintain, the magnitude is completely different when it comes to what you need to get done to rebuild a street.”
affordability part comes in using the state as a partner and Schultz hope the
governor will find a way to fund local governments but admits the problem is so
large that state money alone won’t fix the problem.
“The task force has settled on a reasonable number of 70% good condition which compares to MDOT which has an 80-95 percent expectation for their roads in good condition so they did not want to be over zealous but wanted to find a good range which spoke to the quality of life of the community and something the community could afford.”
force suggests a local commitment which includes short and long term solutions.
Among those - a property tax proposal for a 2.25 millage request for city of
Grand Rapids property owners. The other alternative is to maintain the current
income tax rate of .2 percent voters elected to increase two years ago which
expires in 2015.
The idea of a Vehicle
Miles tax or user fee is being looked at but further study is needed to
determine if that idea is feasible.
recommendations also include: A Vital Streets approach for the city’s economy. Public
right-of-way must accommodate cars, freight, transit, bikes and pedestrians to
increase access to businesses, schools, and medical services.
Force is recommending new local investment of $9 million per year. A series of
focus groups and citizen input sessions will be held before the task force makes
final recommendations by the spring.
Friday Hop candy delivers flavor without the hangover GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | WGVU Today is National Hard Candy Day. The ingredients for making hard candy is basic; syrup, citric acid, food coloring and flavoring. And for kids young and old it’s the flavor that matters. WGVU discovered a one-of-a-kind candy taste earlier this year at the American Homebrewers Association Conference held at Grand Rapids’ DeVos Place. ListenDownload US Senate race in Michigan drew $56M in spending LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP The race for U.S. Senate in Michigan drew more than $56 million in spending from the campaigns and outside supporters. Snyder signs bills to streamline some courts LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation designed to streamline the district court system in Michigan by creating more flexibility for magistrates. Snyder signs bill to expand nuisance abatement LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to expand local governments' power to file nuisance complaints against homeowners and businesses suspected of illegal activity such human trafficking or gun crimes. Michigan Lottery sales reach record $2.6 billion LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan Lottery ticket sales have reached a record $2.6 billion in the 2014 budget year. Tighter Internet sales tax collections are OK'd LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Amazon.com and other online stores will have to collect Michigan's sales tax on purchases under legislation headed to Gov. Rick Snyder. 168-year-old Grand Rapids house restored as treatment center GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP A 168-year-old Grand Rapids mansion has been renovated for use as a private treatment center for women with alcohol and drug addictions. Cyberbullying legislation sent to Gov. Snyder LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan school districts would have to include cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policies and report bullying data to the state under legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder. Michigan voters to decide road funding tax hike LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP A proposed tax hike aimed at improving Michigan's transportation infrastructure and schools is heading to voters. Authorities: Man arrested in 1990 beating death GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Authorities say a 56-year-old man has been arrested in the 1990 beating death of a 23-year-old in Grand Rapids. 11 charter authorizes remain at-risk of suspension LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP The Michigan Department of Education has decided to keep the status of 11 of the state's charter school authorizers at-risk of possible suspension. Michigan gets $349,000 in cell 'cramming' deal LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state will receive $349,000 as part of a $90 million national settlement with cellphone company T-Mobile.