Grand Rapids City Council urges community to participate in ‘Plastic-Free Day’ challenge

The City of Grand Rapids adopted a resolution on Monday encouraging residents to accept a “Plastic-Free Day” challenge. The challenge encourages individuals to choose at least one day between July 7-15 to participate by shopping with reusable bags, drinking from reusable containers and saying no to plastic straws and utensils. Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Blake read the resolution during a regular meeting of the City Council on July 8.

According to information presented on Monday, the United States uses 500 million plastic straws each day, enough to fill 125 buses daily. Furthermore, the average person uses 13 plastic bottles each month and the average American Family uses 1,500 single-use plastic bags each year. Many of these products, explained the resolution, will exist for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, polluting the land, air and water

One area student spoke about their concerns of single-use plastics and the importance of the Plastic Free Day Challenge during Monday’s meeting, noting the impact single-use plastics have on the world and the creatures that share it.

On Monday, councilors approved the following consent agenda:

Accepted the 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the Report on Internal Controls and the Report on Compliance with Minnesota Legal Compliance Audit Code.

Approved Change Order 3 related to CP 2019-1, Golf Course Road Utility Extension-Great River Acres.

Approved a Chamber Directory contract.

Approved payment of $4,000 to Milligan Studio.

During the regular meeting, councilors:

Approved the minutes from the Monday, June 24 meeting.

Approved verified claims for the period June 18 to July 1, 2019, in the total amount of $1,110,791.07.

Reviewed and acknowledged minutes for the following boards and commissions: Human Rights Commission and Arts and Culture Commission.

Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority (GREDA) conveying city parcels in the plat of Great River Acres.

Appointed Nathan Morlan to the position of Building Official/Building Maintenance Manager.

Approved an agreement with artist Aaron Squadroni for the creation of a public sculpture, entitled “Pool,” to be located next to the river. The project will incorporate sculptural elements created by Squadroni, as well as artwork completed by Leah Yellowbird. The completion date for the project is Nov. 1.

Conducted a public hearing for proposed property tax abatement. There was no public input during the hearing.

Adopted a resolution approving property tax abatement related to public improvements in the City of Grand Rapids for the acquisition and construction of the Grand Rapids/Cohasset connection trail along County Road 63.

Adopted a resolution providing for the sale of $1,585,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2019A to finance the Great River Acres improvement project and the Cohasset Trail Project in the city.

The next regular meeting of the Grand Rapids City Council is scheduled for July 22 at 5 p.m.

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