GRAND RAPIDS — Despite some controversy, three millage renewals passed overwhelming in metro Grand Rapids last night, according to unofficial election results.
Amid an ongoing labor dispute and faced with vocal opposition from many of its unionized members and some of the region’s progressive base, voters in six cities in Kent County approved The Rapid’s ask to renew its existing 1.47 mill levy for another 12 years. The millage accounts for about 35 percent of the transit operator’s operating budget.
The millage renewal received 13,711 votes in support, while 5,524 voters opposed the measure, according to unofficial Kent County election results. The organization’s 2011 millage increase passed by only 136 votes.
Walker was the only one cities of the six where The Rapid operates to vote against the measure.
Likewise, a 20-year millage from the Grand Rapids Public Library that faced opposition from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce easily passed, receiving 14,283 votes in support compared to 5,580 “no” votes.
Additionally, a renewal of the Grand Rapids Public Schools operating millage drew overwhelming support, receiving 13,711 yes votes.
Turnout was low at polling locations yesterday, with the city of Grand Rapids pegging voter turnout at about 15 percent.
A Wyoming Public Schools bond proposal also passed last night. However, a Greenville Public Schools bond proposal was shot down by voters.