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Brewer Backs GR Income Tax Extension for Roads, Sidewalks

 
Posted Monday, April 28th 2014 @ 6pm  by John C. Smith, WOOD Radio News Team

It was an "old school" approach to promote an election question in Grand Rapids Monday.

Beer was flowing at Brewery Vivant, a "Pothole Stout" offered by the owner Jason Spaulding to supporters of "Fix Our Streets." That's the group advocating for a 15 year extension of the increase placed on Grand Rapids' income tax several years ago for police and fire staffing.

Spaulding told the audience gathered in his production facility for the campaign kickoff even in "Beer City U.S.A." the condition of the streets "is pretty embarrassing" and visitors have mentioned the state of roads and bridges during their visits.  Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle was also among the speakers at the late afternoon event. "The city is doing a great job of taking matters into their own hands. At the city and community level, we're going to have to say 'This is what we want our local community to be like.'" Steudle said there's no looking to the federal government for the necessary resources. (Steudle is pictured at podium here)

State Representative Brandon Dillon told those gathered he was a late supporter for this cause but "these guys have come to the forefront and I hope people are going to follow suit May 6th." Dillon told WOOD Radio "if we want to attract people here, we have got to have a basic infrastructure that meets the need of residents and businesses." He concluded that the public wants roads fixed. "I've always been skeptical that people want to pay for it, but I've heard more and more 'If we've got extra money at the state, let's use it to roads and if we can spend the same amount of money in Grand Rapids and use it to roads.'"

 

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