Kentwood voters will decide the mileage of the parks. If approved, these improvements would be considered

KENTWOOD, MI – Kentwood residents will vote Aug. 2 on a permanent parks mile that city officials say will support parks, trails and recreation facilities and city programming.

Among the improvements planned with the permanent, dedicated mileage of 1 mill on the Aug. 2 ballot are the construction of a new multi-generational community recreation center and community gathering space and park amenities in the area around the mill. Kentwood Town Hall.

Some other improvements using the money include new splash pads and pickleball courts and improvements to existing sports fields and skate parks. The city has compiled a list of potential projects for each of its parks.

Mayor Stephen Kepley said that since celebrating the city’s 50th anniversary in 2017, staff have “devoted a great deal of time and effort to planning for the next 50 years of community growth through collaboration with our residents and community leaders.” ‘other partners’.

“Funding available for parks and recreation has not kept pace with increased residential demand, delaying repairs for the community today and significantly limiting future improvements,” Kepley said. “If approved, this mileage would provide a sustainable and permanent source of funding to improve, operate and maintain parks, trails and other amenities and services for generations to come.”

The mileage of 1 mill, if approved, would be levied effective July 1, 2023. For a home with a market value of $250,000 and an assessed value of $125,000, the mileage would equal approximately 125 $ more in taxes each year.

The mileage rate was recommended by park advisory committees, which include residents and other stakeholders. The recommended rate was achieved after community engagement and a review of the city’s park system, projected growth and community needs.

The mileage is expected to generate $2.3 million in the first year.

The advisory committees also recommended that the city contribute an additional $22 million to park improvements through public and private sources.

Kentwood provided a list of potential developments and improvements, including Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, using the millions of dollars:

  • Bowen Station Park: restrooms, playground equipment, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Burgis Park: improvement of paths and sidewalks and new water fountain.
  • City campus: paddling pool, playground, square, shelters, stage, lawn for events, parking, toilets and other amenities.
  • Community Recreation Center: Approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor, multi-generational programming and recreation space open year-round on the city campus.
  • Covenant Park Phase 1: Trails, sports fields, event lawn, lighting and infrastructure to support future phases.
  • Parc Naturel de l’Est Parisien: Development of trails, signage and other facilities.
  • Home Acres Park: Skatepark upgrades, shade shelters, lighting, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Jaycee Park: New restroom/program building, additional parking, disc golf upgrades and other amenities.
  • Kellogg Woods Park: washrooms, softball/baseball field upgrades, new sports fields, lighting and landscaping.
  • Northeast Park: restrooms, playground, wading pool, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Old Farm Park: Improvements to parking lot, playground, shelter and other amenities.
  • Parc de Paris: Improvement of paths and signage.
  • Pinewood Park: Wading pool upgrades, pickleball courts, new restrooms, shade shelters, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Rondo Street Station Park: playground, bike rack and repair center, signage, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Stanaback Park: playground, parking improvements, signage, pickleball courts, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Stauffer Station Park: Kiosk, bike rack and repair center, signage, lighting, landscaping and other amenities.
  • Summerwood Park: Playground and landscaping.
  • Trails: Repairs, replacement and new connections.
  • Veterans Memorial Park: shelter, additional parking and other amenities.

“The Department of Parks and Recreation has depleted current general funds, including one mile from parks that expired in 2013,” said Val Romeo, director of parks and recreation at Kentwood. “We have only been able to make improvements through grant opportunities, which are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. New funding is essential to meet the growing needs of our community.

Kentwood includes 15 parks, covering over 400 acres and over 21 kilometers of trails. City officials say all parks would benefit from improvements to meet the most immediate needs in the first five years.

All remaining improvements would be completed within 10 years.

During the first year of mileage, trail improvements and construction planning would take priority, followed by trail repairs and expansions.

Construction of the community recreation center and park facilities on the city campus would begin in year two.

More information can be found at kentwood.us/millage.

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