A formal agreement between the City of Kalamazoo and initial backers of the proposed Foundation for Excellence will be the topic of a City Commission Work Session to be held Monday, October 24. Commissioners will review a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the agreement and could vote on the Memorandum that evening. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, Room 128, 202 N Rose Street.
In July, the City Commission directed City Manager Jim Ritsema to continue developing the Foundation for Excellence model and to bring a proposal to the City Commission for review. This Memorandum formally outlines the commitments, intentions, and expectations of all parties.
The MOU states that the donors agree to provide a donation of $70.3 million over the next three years; to generate support and contributions from additional donors for the Foundation for Excellence; to promote and support a goal of having the Foundation fully endowed within three years.
The City agrees to create a separate City-controlled fund to receive the initial donation; to create the non-profit Foundation for Excellence entity by August 31, 2017 into which the donation and future contributions will be deposited; to develop a budget for fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019 that incorporates a 12 mill tax rate; to allocate $10 million in each of those years to aspirational projects for youth development & poverty reduction, investments in capital and human infrastructure, and neighborhood improvement projects; to continue exploring further budgetary savings through shared services; and to develop best practices and measures to demonstrate the impact of the donation, efforts, and initiatives.
Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell and City Manager Jim Ritsema will be available for interviews in advance of this work session. Media inquiries should be directed to the City Manager’s Office at (269) 337-8047.