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My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

KENT COUNTY, Mich.— State lawmakers are coming to the rescue of drivers trying to dodge a plethora of potholes this year.

The legislature Wednesday approved $215 million in emergency road funding,  including $115 million for priority projects and $100 million to assist with maintainence needed due to the harsh winter.    

“The additional funding is much needed to combat the brutal winter we experienced this year and to start to reverse the toll it took on Michigan’s roadways,” said Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker.  “The investment in local roads will help to limit the expenses associated with car repairs due to poor road conditions.”

The emergency funding includes nearly $1.9 million to maintain and fix Kent County’s roads.  That includes more than $235,000 for the following communities:

My Town Rockford: Freedom In Motion seeks dedicated riders

My Town Rockford: Freedom In Motion seeks dedicated riders

ROCKFORD, Mich.--  A nonprofit organization is looking for cyclists to dedicate their lungs and legs to providing bicycles for those who need it.

Freedom In Motion is organizing a 270 mile fundraiser ride from Rockford to Mackinaw City.  The three-day journey will start June 19 and include overnight stops in Cadillac and Petoskey.  Food, lodging and transportation back to Rockford will be provided to participants.

Freedom In Motion fixes up donated bicycles for people who need them- from children whose families cannot afford a bicycle to adults who do not have a driver’s license. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward parts and tools to fix up the donated bicycles.

Rockford's Courtland Dr. NE to receive much needed sidewalks

Rockford's Courtland Dr. NE to receive much needed sidewalks

ROCKFORD, Mich.--At its January meeting, the Rockford City Council unanimously approved a resolution to earmark $9,250 of state awarded Community Development Block Grant money towards the future installation of a sidewalk alongside a heavily trafficked road on Rockford's far eastern border. 

A .8-mile stretch of Courtland Dr. NE between 10 Mile Road and 11 Mile Road will see construction, in phases, of a sidewalk along the western side of the roadway. The roadway  is the boundary between the City of Rockford and Courtland Township. 

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   The new Ambulance Consortium in Kent County is growing.

Grand Rapids, Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming and Rockford have already voted to form the consortium.  Plainfield Township is also considering joining.

The Ambulance Consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

Kent County communities have been working on the partnership since 2010.  

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new bike path will soon take shape in Grand Rapids.

The city is getting a $618,514 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create the Seward Avenue Bikeway.  The 3.5 mile bike route will cut through the heart of Grand Rapids and connect nearly 190 miles of regional trails, including the White Pine Trail, Oxford Street Trail and Kent Trails. The path will run along Seward Avenue from Wealthy Street to the Riverside Park trailhead and include a bike shelter, bike lockers, bike signs and signals and an upgraded pedestrian bridge over Indian Mill Creek at Broadway Avenue.

The project is expected to cost just over $1 million.  Additional funding will come from the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bikes Belong and Freewheeler Bike Shop.  The city commission will recognize all financial supporters during its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.    

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The standards for ambulances running in East Grand Rapids may soon change.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the city commission approved joining an ambulance consortium with other Kent County communities.  The consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids currently works with AMR Ambulance, but the city does not have a contract with the company. 

City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

New construction leads to driver detours in Rockford

New construction leads to driver detours in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Some Rockford drivers will encounter new construction Wednesday and Friday.

Squires Street NE will be closed Wednesday afternoon while construction crews grind down the existing pavement.  Drivers can detour onto Courtland, passing behind the post office and out onto Main Street.

Squires Street will be closed again Friday while crews continue repaving.  The street should reopen Friday afternoon.