Wyoming Returns To Regional Table

December 10, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Valley Metro Council Executive Committee members will see a resolution on Wednesday that they thought they'd never see: one that will admit the city of Wyoming as the regional planning agency's 33rd municipality.

"We are absolutely delighted with their decision," said Don Stypula, executive director of the Metro Council.

Wyoming is returning to the fold after a 13-year absence, having quit the board in 1991 over concerns that the regional agency would exert too much power over smaller units. City council members voted 6-1 last week to rejoin the council.

"They understood how important it is for the second-largest city in the region to be part of this family of communities and counties that we have," said Stypula.

Wyoming will have two seats on the board and 19 weighted votes, making the city the third largest Metro Council member behind Kent County and the city of Grand Rapids. As of last week, it wasn't known which elected officials would represent Wyoming at the table.

After Wednesday's Executive Committee meeting, Stypula will contact all the council's members and ask them to ratify Wyoming's application at the board's January meeting. It's expected that Wyoming will be officially readmitted to the council on Feb. 3.

Adding Wyoming to the official membership roster will not result in more fee revenue for the Metro Council, as the city was already paying full dues as an auxiliary member.

"It doesn't change our bottom line at all, but it does change our ability to get things done in this region because we will have a very strong voice," said Stypula.

And there still are a few more members that the Metro Council would like to add.

"I think next we'll probably talk to Ada Township — they had been a part of this before — and the city of Lowell. I'd like to talk with both of them, hopefully before the holidays. I've been keeping them informed about things that are going on here," said Stypula.

"It's especially important to bring this family back together and to keep it strong with what we're facing in Lansing."    

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