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Parks and rec program votes to continue

The NKCE 78ers softball team. From NKCE facebook.

By Judy Reed

North Kent Community Enrichment, the parks and recreation program that has been battling to find ways to sustain funding, held a special meeting last Wednesday to vote on whether to continue on when the current fiscal year ends in June. 

The board voted in favor of continuing, based on a budget presented two weeks ago by Director Jaime Gunderson, and commitments from the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and Algoma Township to continue their part in funding the program. Cedar Springs Schools will support them by letting them use their facilities.

“I am so thankful for everyone who fought so hard to keep this organization alive,” said Gunderson. “We had a large group of residents that showed their support by writing letters, going to board meetings, calling their townships and emailed their representatives. It all made a difference!”

Superintendent Scott Smith and Courtland Township Supervisor Matt McConnon abstained from voting since they do not contribute financially.  Courtland recently voted to withdraw their funding.

Alyssa Ladd from Algoma, John Stout from Solon Township, and Darla Falcon, from the City of Cedar Springs, all voted to support the organization for the 22/23 fiscal year.  

Nelson withdrew earlier this year. 

“With fewer municipalities financially contributing, participants will see one main change in our registration fees,” said Gunderson. “There will be a resident/non- resident fee. If they live in Solon, Algoma or in the City they will see a reduced price (resident fee). If they live anywhere outside those municipalities they will be paying a non-resident fee. This change will occur July 1, when our fiscal year starts.”

The exception to that rule, however, may be the school programs, where the varsity coach from Cedar Springs Public Schools runs the programs and it feeds directly into their program. Gunderson said she would be meeting with the Athletic Director to work on the details of those programs.

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