GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Starting Friday, people in Grand Rapids can vote for which community projects they think should get federal COVID-19 relief dollars.
Those as young as 13 can vote between Friday and Oct. 5 one of three ways: online, at their local Grand Rapids Public Library branch or at one of several Pull Up and Vote events. More about voting can be found at the Participatory Budgeting Grand Rapids website.
The PBGR steering committee has been taking pitches from the community for months and has picked 27 finalists. A full list of those finalists and how much money they would get are listed on the city’s website. There’s a wide breadth of focuses, including but not limited to library or park upgrades, education, lead line removal, affordable child care, anti-violence programs and clean-up and beautification.
PBGR was formed to decide how to use some $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The cash is being split up between the city’s three wards, but not evenly: Projects within the First Ward will get a total of $600,000, the Second Ward is getting $400,000 and $1 million is going to the Third Ward. The distribution model was decided upon in response to demographics, economic factors and historical disparities.