Grand Valley Metropolitan Council is an alliance of governmental units in the West Michigan area
that are appointed to plan for the growth and development, improve the quality of the community's life, and
coordinate governmental services. GVMC: Ensuring trust, credibility and confidence in governmental affairs


Latest Developments





At the February 4 GVMC Board Meeting Tim McLean - City of Wayland; Deb Diepenhorst - Cannon Township; and Rosalynn Bliss - City of Grand Rapids, were sworn in as new representatives.



FY2014/15 Annual Report - On Thursday, February 4, Executive Director John Weiss and GVMC staff members gave the FY2014/15 Annual Report and Audit Review. 

Click here to view the Annual Report.   
Click here to view the Audit.
Click here to view Financial Statements.



At the January 7th GVMC Board meeting, Kent County Clerk Mary Hollinrake administered the Oath of Office to four new Board of Directors representatives: Julius Suchy - Village of Sparta; Bruce Brown - City of Belding; Tom Noreen - Nelson Township; and Jim Holtvluwer - Ottawa County.

Development of the FY2017-2020 TIP—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) is pleased to announce that it will begin developing the FY2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in January, 2016. The TIP document will describe transportation projects from 2017-2020 within Kent and Eastern Ottawa Counties. Please click here for a map of deficient transportation facilities that will be considered for improvement during the TIP development process, and stay tuned for information on upcoming public meetings, public comment opportunities, and updates, which will be posted as they occur.

If you have any questions about the TIP process, please contact Darrell Robinson, Transportation Planner, by email or call (616) 776-7609.

Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids for services and persons requesting translation or interpretation assistance should contact Andrea Faber by email or call (616) 776-7603.


Join us at noon on Wednesday, November 18, at the GVSU L. William Seidman Center, 50 Front Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI for the GVMC Quarterly Luncheon.  Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, will be the Special Guest Speaker. Cost is $25 and reservations must be made by November 10.


The November 5 GVMC Board Meeting has been rescheduled to November 18, 11:00 a.m. at the DeVos Board Room of the GVSU L. William Seidman Center, 50 Front Ave.

Join us on Monday, September 14, at the GVSU L. William Seidman Center, 50 Front Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI for the GVMC Quarterly Breakfast.  U.S. Senator Gary Peters will be the Special Guest. Cost is $20. RSVP by September 7th. Reservations Closed.

At the August 6 GVMC Board Meeting, Executive Director John Weiss previewed the proposed FY2015/16 GVMC Budget. A public hearing will be held on the proposed budget at the September 14 Board Meeting - 9:30 a.m. at the L. William Seidman Center of Grand Valley State University 50 Front Ave. SW. To view the proposed budget, click here.

Join us on Wednesday, August 12, at the GVSU L. William Seidman Center, 50 Front Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI for the GVMC Quarterly Luncheon.  U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will be the Special Guest. Cost is $25. RSVP by August 3rd

Sponsored By:

Lt. Governor Brian Calley Meets with the West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance. click here

Ludington Daily News - Cooperation

Ludington Daily News - Shared Interest

At its May 7 Board Meeting, The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council approved the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and passed a resolution of support for the Grand River Restoration Project. 

To view the entire meeting, click here.

to view the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan presentation, click here.

to view the Metropolitan Transportation Plan page, click here.


The GVMC Executive Director, John Weiss, discusses the Metropolitan Council on Muskegon Community College's Issues & Impacts show. Click here to view.

The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council will hold its annual Strategic Planning at the April 2, 2015 Board Meeting, 9:00 - noon, Byron Township Community Center, 2120 76th Street, Byron Center, MI 49315.

GVMC Executive Director John Weiss Presents the 2013/2014 FY Annual Report, Financial Statement, Audit and Michigan Economic Data at the 3/5/15 GVMC Board Meeting.

News Reports on the West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance Port of Muskegon Project 3/3/15:

Daily Journal, Elkhart Truth, MLive, WZZM 13, Grand Rapids Business Journal

West Michigan Prosperity Alliance Announces Funding For Projects of Regional Economic Importance

The West Michigan Prosperity Alliance (WMPA) is pleased to announce funding in the amount of $230,250 for five projects of Significant Regional Economic Importance. Click here for complete news release

Jeff Cranson presented at the February 5 GVMC Board Meeting on the Transportation Funding Ballot Proposal.  Click here to view the presentation.

Tom Butcher, General Counsel of GVSU and GVMC representative, presented at the February 5 GVMC Board Meeting on HB4001 Changes to the Freedom of Information Act.  Click here to view the presentation.

Diane Jones Kent County Commissioner and Matt McConnon Courtland Township Trustee were sworn in at the February 5 GVMC Board Meeting.

You’re Invited to Governor Snyder’s Economic & Education Summit.  The cost for the summit is $200 plus hotel.  Click here to register.


MEDAYP Opens the 2015 "Get Hired for a Day Program"

for Young Professionals Interested in an Economic Development Career


MEDA's Young Professionals group (MEDAYP) is seeking a dedicated group of Mentors and Mentees for its Get Hired for a Day Program. The program will be designed to allow Mentors to select or "hire" a young professional for a day, with the pairing based on shared interests.

Through the program, young professionals engaged in economic development will have the opportunity to spend time with a Mentor, networking and learning about the job market and economic development in Michigan. This volunteer program is intended to be mutually-beneficial and foster long-term relationships.
We are currently seeking Mentors!

Why Participate?
Benefits of participating for the Mentor:

  • Renews enthusiasm for the Economic Development Profession
  • Obtain a greater understanding of the different challenges and barriers experienced with young  professionals entering the Economic Development Profession
  • Enhances skills in coaching, counseling, listening and leadership
  • Demonstrates expertise and shares knowledge of the core economic development competencies
  • Helps identify and correct generational issues
  • Because it is our duty to help the next generational workforce!

Benefits of participating for the Mentee:

  • Gain some career development opportunities
  • Help take the first major step in the transition into a full-time career
  • Opportunity to share new and different perspectives
  • Be inspired to pursue a career in Economic Development
  • Gain a better understanding of what additional knowledge, skills or training is needed to pursue a career in Economic Development

Who Can Participate
Anyone with an active interest in an economic development career can participate. Typical candidates include - but are not limited to - college students or those in the early stages of their career in economic development that want a better feel for work in other areas of the industry.

How It Works
January - mid-February: MEDA will collect one-day job postings from Mentors.
February - March: Mentees can apply for the available positions.
April - May: The MEDAYP Committee will match Mentors and Mentees and Mentors will begin to contact their matched Mentees.
May - June: The one day "hiring" will take place.
June - July: Some quick reporting is requested following completion.

Sign Up
Mentors, Submit a Job
Mentees, Apply Now

Simpy call the MEDA office at 517-241-0011 and ask for Cassandra!

February 25-27

Michigan Stormwater Floodplain Association (MSFA) 2015 Conference

 Radisson Hotel, Lansing

The MSFA promotes  the common interest in floodplain and stormwater management, enhancing cooperation among various local, state, and federal government agencies, and to encourage the effective and innovative approaches to managing Michigan’s floodplain and stormwater management systems.  The 28th annual conference will include topics like FEMA updates, flood insurance, 2014 flooding in Michigan and emergency response to the flooding, climate change, and much more.  For information on the conference agenda and registration, please go to

March 11, 2015

Shoreline and Shallows Conference

Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership

MSU Kellogg Conference Center, East Lansing

The title of this year’s conference is “Challenges and Successes” and will feature a natural shoreline research and policy presentation by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  This year’s conference will also include two presentations on design considerations when planning for river bank versus lakeshore restoration.  Guidance on costing out natural shoreline projects will be offered and speakers will explore subtle siting details that may be affecting two of the Certified Natural Shoreline Partnership demonstration sites.  The DEQ is a co-sponsor of this event. More information is available online  Early bird registration is $35.00 and includes lunch.  Regular registration after February 25 is $45.00, including lunch.  Walk-ins are accepted but lunch is not guaranteed. For further information, please contact: Lois Wolfson at or 517-353-9222.

2015 Community P2 Grant Program
Enhancing Local and Regional Recycling Programs

February 11
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Participate in this webinar to learn more about the grant funding available through the 2015 Community P2 Grant Program for projects that enhance local or regional recycling programs and lead to increases in the statewide recycling rate. The purpose of this webinar is to educate attendees about the objective of the 2015 Community Pollution Prevention Program and to answer questions and assist the attendee in creating an organized, well written and relevant application that furthers the objectives of the program. This webinar is applicable to local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, local health departments, municipalities, regional planning agencies or other organizations that are interested in enhancing their local or regional recycling programs with the overall objective of increasing the statewide recycling rate.

For more info. click here



The Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center at Michigan State University is offering the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program in two locations in Jan-Feb, 2015. The certificate-based training is recommended for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators. There are eight modules included in each training program leading to a certificate of completion for those that pass an exam associated with each module. Each module is about three hours of instruction (24 hours total). Dates and locations include:

Three-Days-in-a-Row Training: Frankenmuth, MI
Tuesday-Thursday: January 20-22, 2015
Bavarian Inn Motor Lodge

Four Days of Training: Plainwell, MI
Tuesdays: January 27, and February 3, 10 and 17, 2015
Plainwell Community Center
Follow this link for additional information and to download a registration brochure


125 Attend West Michigan Prosperity Alliance General Session - Over 125 residents, business leaders, educators, economic developers, and government leaders from throughout West Michigan attended the Third General Session of the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance.  The meeting was held at the Kirkhof Center at  Grand Valley State University.
Click here for more information.
Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentation.

Click here to see project ranking.
Click here to view the West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance page

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council's Environmental Programs, of which LGROW is a part of, gave a presentation to the Metro Council's Board of Directors this morning. The Board heard an overview of their progress and achievements over the past year. Presenting with Wendy Ogilvie, was Scott Conners from the City of Walker, Michigan, Carrie Rivette from The City of Grand Rapids, Roger Belknap from the Spring Lake Village, and Mike Posthumus from Grand Valley State University.  To see the presentation, click here.

Success of the Proposal 1 Campaign

At the GVMC Board Meeting on September 4, 2014, Kelly Rossman of Rossman-Truscott presented to the group on the phenomenal success of the Proposal 1 campaign.  Click here to view presentation.

2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan Development - We Need Your Input! The Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) is in the process of developing a long range transportation plan for the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area, and we would like your input about future transportation needs and priorities, including regional roadway condition, traffic congestion, transit availability, pedestrian paths, bicycle lanes, transportation safety, freight movement, air travel, and passenger rail service. For more information on these topics and how to submit comments, please click here.

M-50 Slide-In Bridge Animation - This animation explains how the M-50 slide-in bridge project in Kent County works. The new bridge will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge and traffic will be diverted to the new bridge in its temporary location. The old structure will be demolished and the new bridge will be slid into place. Bridge slide technology greatly reduces the amount of time the bridge is out of service. M-50 will be closed and detoured for only two weekends (during demolition and during the slide), as opposed to a multiple-month closure typically associated with a traditional bridge replacement. For more information, click here.


The Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center at Michigan State University is offering the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program in two locations in Jan-Feb, 2015. The certificate-based training is recommended for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators. Click here for more information.

Lowell Township Joins GVMC At our August Board Meeting, Jerry Hale, Supervisor of Lowell Township became the newest member of the GVMC Board of Directors. Jerry was sworn into office by GVMC Chairman Al Van-derberg.
We welcome Jerry to our Board of Directors and Lowell Township to membership in our organization. Lowell Township becomes the 36th member of GVMC.

MDOT seeks comment on its DBE participation goals - Pursuant to U.S. Department of Transportation regulations at 49 CFR § 26.45 titled “Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs,” MDOT seeks comment on its DBE participation goals for its FTA-funded bus transit and Metropolitan Planning Organization DBE program.

Interested persons are invited to comment on the current and proposed goal. Please click here for additional information, including dates and times for public meetings.

The Department of Environmental Programs now has a full-time Stormwater Coordinator. Click here to read entire story.

Governor Snyder Speaks at the June 6, GVMC Board Meeting. 

Approximately 100 leaders from throughout West Michigan attended
the event to hear the Governor’s comments and ask questions.

Click here for full story

Regional Prosperity Alliance Solicits Input

A main objective of the Regional Prosperity Grant, which GVMC is spearheading, is the identification of five projects that will affect our region (see map).  If you would like to suggest a project, review the attached material and nominate any project you feel meets the criteria.  All nominated projects will be considered. While sources of funding are not currently identified, this effort seeks to find projects that will impact West Michigan and help us to focus our efforts on a regional basis.  We are looking for the “big idea” projects that will have significant impact on West Michigan and allow the region to prioritize and coalesce our efforts in the future.  Completed forms can be forwarded directly to Dave Bee from the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission. Click here for Dave’s email

Click here to access form

The Grand Valley Metro Council and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce held a Road Summit on Friday, April 25.  The event, hosted by Meijer, was attended by over 90 business leaders and government officials.  Click here to see WZZM News item.

Personal Property Tax Reforms Become Law - Scott Smith of Dickinson Wright published an article in the National Law Journal regarding the Personal Property Tax Reform.  Click here to view

Proposal Request. - The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the City of Grand Rapids request statements of qualifications and Proposals from consulting firms who are able to assist in the undertaking of joint traffic circulation/signage and access realignment feasibility study for the City of Grand Rapids downtown area. Click here for more information

Over 180 people attended the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance's first Community Conversations March 17 at DeVos Place during the Governor's Economic Summit.  Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation and click here to view the worksheets.

The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council passed a resolution urging the Governor and Legislators to use the projected budget surplus to replace funding diverted from local government and to fix our roads.  Click here to view the resolution.

GVMC Executive Director, John Weiss, presented the 2013 Annual Report and Financial Audit at the March 6, GVMC Board Meeting. click here to view the 2012/2013 Annual Report. click here to view the 2012-2013 Financial Audit.

At the February 20 GVMC Quarterly Luncheon, Mike Faas, CEO of Metro Health, gave a presentation on Healthcare 2014 and Its Implications to West Michigan.  Click here to view the presentation

The City of Grandville issues resolution to encourage the reinvestment of state surplus funds in local government.  Click here to view.

GVMC Welcomes New Members - At the December 5th Board Meeting, the Metro Council was extremely pleased to officially swear in representatives for two new GVMC member communities: Roger Towsley, of the Village of Sand Lake; and George Haga, of Ada Township.  Also taking the Oath of Office were Steve Kepley of Kentwood; Steve Maas of Grandville; and Mark Huizenga of Walker.

Additionally, GVMC unanimously approved the request by Lowell Township to become a Metro Council member.

EMS Consortium Partnership - At the December 5th GVMC Board Meeting, Rich Houtteman updated the Council on the progress of the EMS Consortium Partnership of Kent County. 

Click here to view the presentation.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council applies for the Governor’s Regional Prosperity Initiative Grant.  Grand Valley Metropolitan Council is very pleased to submit this grant application on behalf of the 13 county West Michigan Prosperity Alliance.  We appreciate the work of our partners and over 90 organizations that have endorsed our application.  We look forward to the opportunity to begin this critical project to enhance communication, collaboration, and cooperation in our region. 

GVMC Executive Director, John Weiss; Al Vanderberg, Ottawa County Administrator; and Rick Chapla (The Right Place) gave a presentation  on the Governor’s Regional Prosperity Initiative at the October 3 GVMC Board Meeting.  Click here to view presentation.

New Director of Environmental Programs
GVMC is very pleased to announce that Wendy Ogilvie, LEED AP ND, has recently joined GVMC as Director of Environmental Programs.  Ms. Ogilvie has been affiliated with GVMC and its environmental programs for over 13 years. She has been responsible for the complete administration of the 23 community NPDES Municipal Storm Water Permit Consortium serving Kent and Ottawa Counties. She has also been an active member of GVMC’s Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) and was instrumental in authoring and coordinating the Lower Grand River Watershed Management Plan.  In addition to her leadership with environmental programs within the GVMC/LGROW Region, Wendy has also held leadership positions serving governmental agencies and citizen groups in Berrien, Cass, Calhoun, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent, Huron and Van Buren
Counties. She has significant experience with environmental agencies at all levels of government including the MDNR, MDEQ and EPA.

Wendy has a B.S. from the University of Michigan and an M.S. from Michigan State University. She also received the “2013 Outstanding Environment Consultant” award from the Michigan Water Environmental Association.

To read feature story written by Wendy Ogilvie, Director of Environmental Programs, click here.

GVMC Executive Director presented an update of GVMC activities to the Kent County Commission September 12, 2013. Click here for presentation

Safe Route 2 School - A Safe Routes to School (SR2S) regional training session was held on Wednesday, August 28 at the Grand Rapids Township Hall. April Morrison-Harke and Adrianna Jordan from the Michigan Fitness Foundation led the training, which was geared toward Michigan principals, school transportation supervisors, planners, road authorities, and Safe Routes to School champions. Those in attendance learned how to develop SR2S education, encouragement, enforcement and engineering programs; how to build a strong SR2S planning team; how to conduct an effective walking audit; and how to develop a SR2S action plan. Funding application requirements were also covered. The training session was sponsored by GVMC, MDOT, and the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

For more information on SR2S or to view training materials, please click here.

FY2014-2017 TIP Development Update - The FY2014 – 2017 Transportation Improvement Program was approved by the Grand Valley Metro Council Board on 6/6/13. The next step in the approval process will be for GVMC to prepare and send six copies of the entire document to the Michigan Department of Transportation for their review and approval. Once comments and corrections have been completed, the Michigan Department of Transportation will prepare and send the documents to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval. All approvals are scheduled to be complete sometime before the 1st of October, the first day of fiscal year (FY) 2014. At that time, the new document takes effect. If you have any questions or comments, please click here, or contact Darrell Robinson by phone at (616) 776-7609 or email

Kent County Commissioner Jim Saalfeld presented the final report of the Community Collaboration Work Group at the GVMC Board Meeting on June 6, 2013.  Click here to view the Presentation.

Click here to view the full report.

Draft FY2014 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Available - The draft UPWP, which includes the budget for all
federally assisted transportation planning activities that will be undertaken by the GVMC Transportation Division, the Interurban Transit Partnership (ITP), and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), is now available for review. For more information, please click here.

Grand Valley Metro Council Pavement Management Van Featured on WZZM 13 News and Grand Rapids Business Journal

The Grand Valley Metro Council is using a unique and efficient way to monitor road conditions in West Michigan.

To see the full article click here

GVMC Holds Street Summit - Monday, April 8, a crowd of over 40 legislators, business representatives, local government officials, and media representatives convened at the Kent County Road Commission for a Street Summit.  The event was a joint endeavor by State Rep. Rob VerHeulen, Grand Valley Metro Council, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Kent County Road Commission, The Rapid, and local officials.  GVMC Executive Director, John Weiss, explained “The Summit’s intent is to bring into focus the deteriorating condition of area roads. In order for West Michigan to prosper, quality roads are imperative.  Rather than advocating for a particular funding method, the message we are sending is Just Fix the Roads.”  House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chair and former City of Walker Mayor, Rob VerHeulen co-sponsored the event. 

The Summit kicked off at 9:30 a.m. at the Kent County Road Commission with presentations from Steve Warren, of the Kent County Road Commission, and Eric DeLong, Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager.  The conclave then embarked for a two-hour tour of the “Good, Bad, and Hardly Passable” of area roads during which business representatives stressed the importance of road condition for commerce.

The Summit wrapped up at 11:45 back at the road commission for a roundtable discussion and luncheon catered by Johnny Braan of Braan’s Kitchen 67. 

For additional media stores on the event see:


Wood TV 8

Fox 17 News




TIP DEVELOPMENT UPDATE - On Tuesday, April 9, Grand Valley Metropolitan Council held its first public meeting for the draft FY2014-2017 TIP. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit input on the draft project lists for the FY2014-2017 TIP. Twenty-nine individuals attended the meeting, including an Introduction to Transportation Planning class from Grand Valley State University.

The meeting itself featured an informative presentation on the TIP development process, multiple maps of transportation projects provided as visual aids, and several staff members were in attendance to answer questions. To view the presentation from the meeting, please click here.

Additional $3.7 Million in Carryover Funding Received for Projects - MDOT recently informed Grand Valley Metropolitan Council that $3.7 million in carryover funding from previous years was available to the MPO for FY2013 projects.

To view the draft project list that is being proposed to be funded with this carryover balance, please click here. Please note that the project list includes projects moved forward from FY2014 from the FY2011-2014 TIP, projects moved from TIP illustrative lists into FY2013, and increases in project length and cost.

For additional information, or if you wish to comment on this project list, please contact Darrell Robinson by phone (616.776.7609), email, or mail comments to GVMC’s office (678 Front Ave. NW, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). To fill out a comment form electronically, please click here. To download a copy of our comment form, please click here. Comments will be received through Wednesday, April 24.

The Transportation Programming Study Group will meet in the near future to determine a project list for FY2014, should additional funding become available.

At the February 7 GVMC Board Meeting, Metro Council staff gave the FY 2011/2012 Annual Report Presentation and reviewed the Financial Audit. 
To view the FY 2011/2012 Annual Report, click here.
To view the Financial Audit, click here.

Legislative Update on PPT Reform.  Our work continues……..(click here)

City-County Consolidations: Promises Made, Promises Kept? (click here) Professor Kurt Thurmaier, Division of Public Administration, Northern Illinois University

Grand River Sediment Survey - NTH Consultants, Ltd. (NTH) has prepared this Phase II environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Report on an approximately 1.5-mile long stretch of the Grand River immediately north of the 4th  Street dam. The Phase II ESA was conducted on behalf of the Grand Rapids Whitewater Association. The Phase II ESA was performed under the Brownfield Assessment Grant that the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Click here to view the full report

Lt. Governor Attends GVMC Board and Quarterly Meeting

Brian Calley, Michigan's Lt. Governor attended the GVMC Board Meeting and Quarterly Luncheon on July 9th.  Speaking first in a casual conversation with the Board of Directors, Calley outlined the administration's goals for future and outlined key issues impacting our state.  Board members asked questions on a variety of topics including the new International Bridge, new state fireworks law and the personal property tax.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council
678 Front Ave NW, Suite 200 • Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504.
Phone: (616) 77-METRO (776-3876)• Fax: (616) 774-9292

Popular Links


GVMC Board Meetings can be seen on GRTV Charter Communications Channel 24 the second Tuesday and Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Plus, starting November 17th on Rogueview Community TV (RCTV) Charter Communications Channel 22 on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.