Categories: News 02Oct Big Rapids officials join Rep. Potvin to support recreation partnership LANSING – State Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, welcomed Big Rapids City Manager Steven Sobers and Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist to the House Committee on Local Government this week for testimony to support legislation that could create more recreation opportunities in the Big Rapids area.House Bill 4578, sponsored by Rep. Potvin, would amend the Recreational Authorities Act to add school districts to the list of entities allowed to join a recreational authority. Currently only a city, county, village or township are allowed to come together and form an authority. The creation of such an authority would occur after a vote of the citizens in the area.The City of Big Rapids and Big Rapids Public Schools have been working together on ways to join, expand community resources, and recreational offerings in the greater Big Rapids area. Possible projects that may come from the creation of a recreational authority could be community centers, gardens, pools, farmers markets, park improvements, and even historic restoration.“Recreational opportunities in a community are part of what gives a community its character, charm and allure for families and visitors alike,” said Rep. Potvin. “Partnering with schools is a common sense addition that will help create additional investments and more opportunities within our communities.”“This city sees this as more than just a networking opportunity,” said Sobers. “This would bring added facilities and opportunities for the older generation, as well as our youthful population.”Also joining Sobers and Haist in Lansing, but not speaking to the House committee were Nate Scheible of Big Rapids Public Schools and Heather Bowman of the Big Rapids Parks and Recreation Department.The committee listened to testimony on the bill and is expected to revisit the bill in the near future.