Grand Rapids zoo & museum: Say yes to millage, WOOD

John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Monday launched their “Yes! Zoo and Museum” campaign to encourage voters to approve a new millage.

The 10-year millage will be on the Nov. 8 ballot in Kent County. It would have a rate of .44 mills, which works out to an increase of about $37 per year for the average Kent County homeowners, according to the campaign.

The zoo and museum say it would raise enough money to care for 1,600 animals and 250,000 artifacts, as well has help pay for renovations and more education programs.

The zoo and museum say they have lost a lot of funding over the last few years. The zoo gets minimal public funding and the museum doesn’t get any. Peter D’Arienzo, the CEO of the zoo, said the millage would help preserve two cultural institutions in Kent County so future generations can continue to enjoy them.

“One of the things that really touches me [is] I see grandparents with their kids and grandkids,” D’Arienzo said. “They’re also learning about our natural world.”

Museum and zoo officials said the millage would unlock perks for Kent County residents, including free museum parking, free museum admission for Kent County children and free group admissions to the zoo for all elementary school children.

The county clerk told 24 Hour News 8 there is no organized effort opposing proposed millage.

View full story:Grand Rapids zoo & museum: Say yes to millage WOODTV, Sept. 13, 2016


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