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My Town Sparta: Village to weigh in on new restaurant proposals Monday

My Town Sparta: Village to weigh in on new restaurant proposals Monday

SPARTA, Mich.—Sparta council members Monday night will weigh in on plans for a new restaurant in the village

Developers want to add a Subway restaurant to 313 S. State Street.  The plans would include a drive through.

On Thursday, May 8, the Sparta Planning Commission held a public hearing about the site plan.  The planning commission and attendants answered neighbor’s concerns about a possible traffic influx as well as light pollution before the commission unanimously recommended a special land use permit be granted for the development.

 Monday night, council members will also consider plans to build a three-tenant space at 275 S. State Street.  The space would include an orthodontic office and a Biggby Coffee.   The coffee shop is also requesting approval for a drive-through.

The village council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Sparta Township Chamber.

My Town: It must be summer - Rockford Farm Market opens Saturday!

My Town: It must be summer - Rockford Farm Market opens Saturday!

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- Voted "America's Favorite Farmers Market" in a nationwide online contest in 2011, the Rockford Farm Market returns for its 13th season this Saturday, May 10.

"I am so looking forward to this farm market season," said Kim McKay, Rockford city treasurer and farm market administrator. "After the hellacious winter we have all survived, I'm eager for the Rockford Farm Market to usher in what hopefully will be another glorious West Michigan summer. Rockford is proud its downtown market offers up a complete cornucopia of strictly Michigan farm and orchard produce and prepared foods."

Embraced by the greater Rockford community since its inception in 2001, the Rockford Market has evolved into a true destination farm market for "foodies" and epicureans alike from near and far.

My Town: Kent County Health Department names 2014 Food Safety Award winners

My Town: Kent County Health Department names 2014 Food Safety Award winners

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—If you’re looking for a clean, safe place to dine out this weekend, the Kent County Health Department has some suggestions- 471 of them, actually.

The KCHD recently announced the winners of its 2nd annual Food Safety Awards.  This year’s 471 winners were selected from more than 1700 licensed facilities that were inspected through 2013.    To qualify, each establishment had to meet the following criteria:

My Town: Outdoor Farmer's Market to feature more than 50 vendors

My Town: Outdoor Farmer's Market to feature more than 50 vendors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Outdoor Farmer’s Market in downtown Grand Rapids will open for its second season this weekend.

Grand Rapids Downtown Market says the new season of outdoor shopping will start Saturday May 3.  The outdoor market will be open every Saturday in May, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The market will host its inaugural “Chefs at The Market” demonstration at 10 a.m.  A chef will showcase simple recipes you can follow using food available at the market.  This weekend’s demonstration will feature rhubarb.

Inside the market, visitors can take part in a free yoga session and enjoy live jazz music by Hugh DeWitt.  At noon, shoppers can also enjoy microgreens grown in the market’s greenhouse as part of a $5 tasting bar.

This year’s outdoor market will feature food and products from more than 50 vendors, including:

My Town Sparta: Public hearing over company tax break request May 13

My Town Sparta: Public hearing over company tax break request May 13

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- Community members are encouraged to weigh in on an industrial tax break request by Steel 21, LLC during a public hearing May 13.

The company is requesting an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption for property improvements on 4609 12 Mile Road.  The land falls within the Industrial Development District.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Algoma Township Hall, 10531 Algoma Ave. NE.   The board will discuss and possibly act on the tax break request following the public hearing.

My Town: Sparta moves toward adding DPW storage facility

My Town: Sparta moves toward adding DPW storage facility

SPARTA, Mich.— The Village of Sparta is taking the first steps to expand storage space for the Department of Public Works.

The Village Council is looking into building a pole barn near the DPW garage at 276 West Division to hold supplies and equipment that had been in Sparta’s ambulance garage.  The village put the old ambulance barn up for sale six months ago.  The village is asking $65,000 for the property located at Washington and East Gardner.

In October, former Village Manager Martin Super said the building could be better used by a company; he said the space is ideal for businesses like a car detail shop or a heating and cooling service.

Kent’s “Financial Soundness” Applauded by Ratings Agencies

Kent’s “Financial Soundness” Applauded by Ratings Agencies
---------------------------------------NEWS RELEASE----------------------GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Kent County Administration) – Businesses and residents in Kent County are in good hands fiscally. Kent County remains financially strong, according to rating agencies Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service. Both agencies affirmed the long-term Triple-A credit ratings– the highest possible – for the County. This represents the 16th consecutive year that Kent County has held the long-term Triple-A ratings from both agencies. Both S&P and Moody’s also affirmed the highest short-term credit ratings available for the County. S&P noted that Kent County has a history of strong financial management and commitment to meeting financialobligations. In addition, one S&P analyst called Kent County’s financial overview “. . .