GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) added another member recently, and entered into an agreement with a water resources institute manager for a natural resources management study.
GVMC has enlisted John Koches, who manages information services for Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, to conduct a detailed examination of what the agency needs to do to manage the region’s natural resources. Then the Metro Council will integrate those findings with its utility management issues into the Blueprint, its regional planning document.
“We think it’s very important that we manage the utility issues as well as the environmental issues,” said Larry Silvernail, Byron Township supervisor. Silvernail added that the natural resources study should provide the regional planning agency with some insight into what it should do in that area.
Koches said his study will highlight the region’s natural resources management needs and explain how the Metro Council can address those issues. He also plans to give the agency a course of action on how to do that. Koches said a summary report would be finished by the end of April.
The Metro Council will pay Koches $3,700 to do the study.
Sparta Township became the 32nd member of the Metro Council when board members unanimously approved its application on March 1. Each of the planning agency’s 31 other member communities also have to ratify the board’s action before Sparta Township can officially join the council. GVMC Executive Director Jerry Felix said he hoped those votes would be taken within a few months.