Foundation for Excellence funding parks projects

kalamazoo city commission
The July 17, 2017 meeting of the Kalamazoo City Commission. (July 17, 2017)

KALAMZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — At its Monday meeting, the Kalamazoo City Commission approved spending about $1.4 million to upgrade three parks and complete some infrastructure projects.

The money will pay for improvements at Davis, Frays and Rockwell parks. Davis is expected to get a skate plaza, a walking path will go in at Frays and age-specific play areas will be built at Rockwell.

The funds will also go toward fixing up sidewalks on sections of Woodward Avenue and Mable Street, and lighting and landscaping in the Northside neighborhood.

The work will open a job in the city’s public works department.

The cash is coming from the new Foundation for Excellence. Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell said it’s just a start of what the foundation will provide in the coming years.

“These are opportunities that exist now, that we know we can address now — that are, I don’t want to say low-hanging fruit, but clearly we know we have time to do some of these infrastructure projects that did come out of Imagine Kalamazoo, which is our community’s vision,” Hopewell said.

The Foundation for Excellence is expected to send $10 million per year to the city for various projects. To date, it has provided about $3 million.

At Monday’s city commission meeting, the city attorney said the legal documents for the foundation were nearly finished and should be available to commissioners next week for review before an Aug. 7 vote.