Kent May Buy More Land

December 9, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County commissioners will decide this week whether to buy 14 acres of land along 17 Mile Road, just east of U.S. 131.

The county's Finance Committee approved the purchase last week for a price of $702,000 plus closing costs. In all, the deal can't exceed $750,000 and the money will come from the county's capital improvements fund.

The county plans to build a service center on the site, which is situated in a growing northern sector of the county.

Should commissioners approve the transaction on Thursday, it would be the second land purchase the county has made in recent weeks. In November, Kent agreed to buy six acres for $1.08 million plus closing costs on East Beltline Avenue near Four Mile Road for a new 63rd District courthouse.

Members of the Finance Committee also recommended last week that the county exempt itself from the capture of property taxes for a new Downtown Development Authority being created in Byron Township. Commissioners will take up the matter this week.

Although the county wasn't certain how much property-tax revenue it would lose to the township, Fiscal Services Director Robert White said Kent already contributes $1.8 million annually to tax-increment authorities like DDAs.

"If the board decides to opt out, (the township DDA) won't be getting anything from the county," said County Administrator Daryl Delabbio.    

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