Kent County Asks Community How It Should Spend Share of $127.6 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Kent County officials want to hear from residents about how they should spend some of the $127.6 million in federal stimulus dollars they received last year.

On Friday, May 20, county officials announced three upcoming community forums, a survey of how the county should prioritize dollars, and an online portal for people and organizations to apply for funding for their programs and ideas. of projects.

“This is clearly a transformative moment in the history of Kent County and we want you to be a part of it,” Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg said. “Each of these community engagement tools will be essential for your Board of Commissioners to gather feedback and creative ideas on how best to use the funds to serve our community.”

At three upcoming community forums, residents can learn more about American Rescue Plan Act federal dollars, what they can be spent on, and targeted areas to spend them on.

All meetings will be from 6-7:30 p.m. The first will be Thursday, June 2 at the Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Ave. NE to Grand Rapids. It will be broadcast live on the department’s Facebook page on this link.

The second will take place on Monday, June 6 at Rockford High School’s Center for Creative Teaching and Learning, located at 4100 Kroes St. NE in Rockford.

The final forum will be held Wednesday, June 8 at the Gaines Township offices at 8555 Kalamazoo Ave. SE in the canton of Gaines.

Those requiring assistance or accommodations to participate should email [email protected] or call 616-632-7582 by Tuesday, May 31 to request language, mobility, visual, hearing assistance , translation or otherwise.

Until June 24, residents can take an online survey prioritizing five different target funding areas developed by the Kent County Board of Commissioners.

These areas and their county-provided definitions are as follows:

  • Community Health: Invest in new and existing mental and physical health programs for the community, such as mental health crisis support and eliminating lead from homes.
  • Quality of Life: Long-term improvements to our community’s quality of life, such as parks and waterfront amenities, and entertainment attractions for families and visitors.
  • Infrastructure: Investments in Kent County’s infrastructure and its future, such as broadband internet, storm water (drains) flood mitigation, and county-wide mobility.
  • Economic Innovations and Workforce Development: Investing in the future of Kent County’s economy to provide a thriving, innovative and sustainable business climate and a skilled workforce that meets the demands of the long-term industry, such as workforce training and waiving food license fees.
  • Improved Government Operations: Investing in Kent County government operations, such as improved facilities and new technologies, to meet growing community needs and improve customer service.

At the end of the survey, residents are asked if they have an idea or program they would like to propose to receive a portion of federal funds. This funding application portal is also accessible by clicking on this link.

Proposals for funding applications must be submitted by July 15.

Throughout June, July and August, county staff will review all submitted proposals and ideas, then forward them to the county council for review and consideration.

From July to September, the county council will begin allocating federal funds to the projects.

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