Kent County May Bond To Buy Land

    GRAND RAPIDS — If commissioners approve the measure on Thursday, Kent County will take its first step to issue a bond package for property purchases. That first step is public notice of its fiscal intention.

    The county wants to issue an eight-year capital improvements package worth up to $16 million to buy three parcels on Monroe Avenue between Michigan and Trowbridge streets, a building at 82 Ionia Ave. NW, and another unidentified parcel, or parcels, it is currently considering.

    The vacant 1.25 acres on Monroe Avenue will cost the county up to $2.45 million to acquire. The building at 82 Ionia, in which the county has been leasing space since 1998, is expected to carry a purchase price of $5.5 million. A $16 million bond package would give the county slightly more than $8 million to spend on the other property or properties.

    Based on current tax-exempt interest rates, County Administrator and Controller Daryl Delabbio said the county could expect a net interest cost of 2.75 percent per annum.

    The county’s Fiscal and Physical Resources Committee last week approved the measure, which goes to the commission on Thursday. Only County Commissioner Harold Voorhees voted against issuing the bonds. He argued that the county should pay for the properties with available dollars instead of using a debt instrument.    

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