GVSU and Allendale leaders formalize information exchange

Students studying near Zumberge pond by the Cook Carillon Tower.
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

President Philomena V. Mantella and Allendale Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas have established a working committee of key township leaders to ensure the regular exchange of information on matters of mutual interest. Membership includes Allendale Schools Superintendent Garth Cooper and Chamber of Commerce Director Summer Rietsma.

“We believe ongoing dialogue is essential, particularly at times of great stress or when addressing emerging needs,” Mantella said. “We need to understand each other’s values and interdependence, and what each contributes to the vibrancy and culture of our community to work together effectively.”

Representatives of the four entities will meet monthly. The university will be represented by Allendale resident Rence Meredith, GVSU’s assistant vice president for Facilities Services. The standing members will invite other Allendale Township leaders or organizations to join meetings when subjects being discussed warrant their input.

“The best way to maintain a constructive partnership is to be sure we know what’s on each other’s minds,” Elenbaas said. “The township, the education communities and area businesses will all benefit by regular engagement.”

The committee held its organizational meeting, at which the university confirmed its commitment to support expansion of facilities needed by the Allendale Fire Department. “The GVSU campus is protected by the Allendale Fire Department, and the university relies on fire services to keep our campus community safe,” Meredith said. “It’s appropriate that we help cover some of the costs incurred by the township as it fulfills its obligation to provide fire protection services to GVSU.”

Additional details will be available when Elenbaas discusses the fire services expansion plan in the coming weeks. 


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