Arts & Entertainment and Government

Voters approve zoo, museum and 911 proposals

November 9, 2016
| By AP |
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Museum produces Ethnic Heritage Festival
The Grand Rapids Public Museum showcases global cultures at its Ethnic Heritage Festival. Photo via

Kent County voters have approved a proposed tax increase to help fund a zoo and a museum and a proposed surcharge for enhanced 911 services.

Voters passed yesterday proposal I for John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Public Museum downtown.

The tax will reportedly generate about $8.9 million a year for the two publicly owned institutions. Proceeds from the tax will be split evenly between the zoo and the museum, which will continue to be managed by separate boards.

With the new millage, Kent County voters will get discounted zoo admission for seniors, and school groups will get in free. At the museum, Kent County children ages 17 and under will get free admission, and Kent County adults will get discounted admission and free parking.

Voters also passed proposal II, which allows Kent County to assess an additional $0.70 monthly surcharge on communication service suppliers' billings to service users within Kent County, according to the ballot. The additional 911 surcharge will raise an estimated $4.5 million per year.

The funds will be used to provide "dedicated funding" to pay for an "enhanced 911 public safety dispatch system."

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