Pork Stories

Grand Rapids community lodge receives $6M from Michigan taxpayers

Part of a $90M bonanza for Michigan’s second-largest city and its suburbs

The community lodge at Martin Luther King Park in Grand Rapids will receive $6 million from state taxpayers in the 2024 budget to replace an existing building. The grant is a small part of the $90 million various Grand Rapids-area entities, including local governments, nonprofits, and businesses, will receive from state taxpayers for community projects, activities and private ventures such as ballet, sports, and other forms of recreation.

“The MLK Lodge project proposes to rebuild the existing lodge to create a modern facility that is flexible and multi-use, fully accessible for all ages and abilities, open year-round, safe, energy efficient, and affordable for public use,” the city’s parks and recreation department stated in a June 30 Facebook post.

Rosalynn Bliss, mayor of Grand Rapids credits legislators for the tens of millions given to the area by Michigan taxpayers. “Our entire Grand Rapids delegation including Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and State representatives John Fitzgerald, Carol Glanville, Kristian Grant, Rachel Hood and Phil Skaggs delivered meaningful investments that will impact residents and visitors for generations.”

The park that hosts the MLK lodge has an outdoor pool and is home to a free summer day camp. Baby showers, family reunions, receptions, quinceaneras, community health and fitness events and other activities occur at the lodge.

The Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

CapCon has previously reported on the problems involved with pork projects, which reward hand-picked winners with grants that do not go through the usual committee process or come with safeguards on how the money is spent.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.