City Newsletter - April 2016

Message from the Mayor
Mark Huizenga
 
Walker Residents, 
The Annual Easter Egg hunt was a hit and crowds were larger than usual! It was wonderful to speak with so many participants both young and old. The egg hunt is an annual tradition that notes the beginning of spring. Each year the staff works to organize an event that is inclusive and safe. A big thank you to those who volunteered, staff who worked to make this event a success, and participants who engaged with our community!

One of our goals at the City is to communicate with our residents. We want you to know what is happening and we want to engage with you as decisions are made. On March 30, city staff met with residents to learn about your goals and updates at Alpine Estates Park. Our discussion was very helpful to city staff. We learned how you use the park, what changes you would like, and what concerns you have. We really appreciate your time and feedback during this event.

On April 21, you will have another opportunity to engage with elected officials and city staff at the State of the City Address which will be held at Fire Station #2 in Standale from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Our goal is to inform the public. City Commission and staff will be there to answer questions and share the state of our city from budget to development. We look forward to seeing you.

I hope that you have a wonderful and safe spring. Enjoy the flowers and spend some time getting to know your neighbors.

Best Regards,
Mayor Mark E. Huizenga 
2016 Standale Summer Concert Series    
Sponsorship Opportunity 
 
The fourth annual Standale Summer Concert Series is set to kick off in June 2016. After a great summer success in 2015, the Walker/Standale DDA is continuing the tradition of providing the community with a free family-friendly summer event. The concerts will be held in the Walker Community Park. This venue is perfect for families and attendees to enjoy a relaxing summer evening while listening to various musical performances.

The Standale Summer Concert Series is the perfect opportunity for local businesses to gain exposure within the Walker/Standale community.
2016 Sponsor Packet

2016 Standale Summer Concert Series Line Up:
*All shows are from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
located in the Walker Community Park
(700 Cummings Ave. NW, Walker)
June 9 - Kari Lynch Band
(Official ribbon cutting ceremony for new amphitheater.)
June 23 - The Adams Family
July 7 - Soul Syndicate
July 21 - Straight Shot
August 4 - The 6 Pak

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Amber Kneibel at (616)791-6856 or akneibel@ci.walker.mi.us. We look forward to another music filled summer!
Department of Public Works
Spring Clean Up Days

May 5, 6, 7, 2016
Where:

Behind City Hall 4243 Remembrance Road NW 
(There will be signs)

Hours:
Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. -  6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

2016 Fee Schedule:
  • Single car or minivan - $5.00 per visit
  • Single car with trailer - $10.00 per visit
  • Single pickup truck $10.00 per visit
  • Single pickup truck with trailer - $20.00 per visit
  • $5.00 per tire
  • $10.00 per tire with rim
Proof of Walker Residency required, (Drivers License, Tax Bill, Voter Card).

If you have questions, please call Walker Public Works at 616-791-6854
City Commission
Ward 3 State of the City Address 
 
Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Fire Station #2 

You are invited to meet your city officials and share some coffee, cookies, and great discussion. 

Mayor Mark Huizenga, Police Chief Greg Long, Fire Chief Bob Walker, City Manager Darrel Schmalzel, Assistant City Manager Frank Wash, Commissioners Cyndy Stek and Sandra Howland, as well as additional staff will be there to answer questions and provide updates on the state of our city from budget to development.

This is a public event and we encourage you to attend. Thank you!
Fire Department 
Smoke Alarm Safety   
 
Smoke alarms are a key part of home fire escape plans. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast.  Working smoke alarms provide early warning.

Safety Tips:
  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area, on every level of the home and in the basement. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. You should test your alarms with real smoke (i.e. a blown out candle) at least once a year.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in your home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10ft (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years. This includes hardwired alarms.
Smoke alarm activation with no fire can be a nuisance. You can avoid this situation by making sure your alarms are clean. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dust accumulation.

If an alarm activates and there is no apparent reason for the alarm, this may be an indicator that the alarm has reached its shelf life. If the alarm activates and there is no apparent problem, you should still call 911 to ensure that you don't have a hidden fire.

If you are in need of smoke alarms, the Walker Fire Department has an installation program. Just call the Fire Department to set up an appointment. If you have any questions about your smoke alarms, feel free to call the Walker Fire Department at 616- 791-6840.
Clerk's Office  
Updates 
 
Upcoming Election:
There will be an election on May 3, 2016 for  a proposal for Kenowa Hills Schools and a proposal for Grandville Schools. Last day to register to vote for this election was April 4, 2016. More information
 
Absentee Ballots:
Prior to each election, voters may choose to receive their ballot early and vote prior to Election Day. Michigan law allows you to receive an absentee ballot if: 
  • You are 60 years of age or older
  • You are physically unable to attend the polls without assistance of another 
  • You have been appointed an election precinct inspector in a precinct other than the precinct where you reside
  • You expect to be absent from the community in which you are registered for the entire time the polls are open on election day
  • You cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of your religion
  • You cannot attend the polls because you are confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial

 You must fill out an application prior to each election before we can send out your ballot.

 

Passports:
You can apply for a passport in the Clerk's Office. No appointments are necessary during normal office hours. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request, please contact the Clerk's Office to schedule at 616.791.6865. Visit our website for details on passport requirements.  More information
 
City Hall Grey Drop Box:
Any documents you need to turn into the Clerk's office may be dropped off in the City Hall Grey drop box outside City Hall. (i.e. Absentee ballot applications, signed and sealed absentee ballots and license applications and payments)
Engineering Department
Spring and Summer Road Projects
 
This year will be a busy year on Walker roads. We will see roadwork on two sections of Walker Avenue, a tunnel under Lake Michigan Drive (M-45), trail expansions along Remembrance Road, new traffic signals for the Northridge Industrial Park and the North Wilson Industrial Park, and widening of Fruitridge Avenue north of the Coopersville Marne Railroad.  
 
If you would like to learn more about these projects or see what's taking shape for next year, please check the Construction Projects tab on the City's website.  
 
Community Development Department
Off-Street Parking Reminder

Parking on a Lawn
In the City of Walker, parking on a residential lawn is prohibited, except on improved surfaces, which meet the minimum construction standards for asphalt, concrete, brick, or stone.

What does the ordinance prohibit?
Off-street parking generally requires that parking is limited to motor vehicles. The use of required off-street parking for storage of merchandise, motor vehicles for sale, or the repair of vehicles is prohibited. Residential off-street parking cannot cover more than 30% of a front yard and must maintain a three-foot setback from adjacent property lines.

What is the penalty for violating this ordinance?
Failure to comply with a notice of violation may result in a municipal civil infraction citation, with fines of up to $500 for each day that the violation exists.

What is the purpose of the ordinance?
The ordinance helps to provide clean, safe, and nuisance-free neighborhoods.

How Does the City enforce this ordinance in my neighborhood?
The City's zoning ordinances are enforced on a complaint basis and can be reported to Meghann Gorby at mgorby@ci.walker.mi.us or by calling (616) 791-6214.

Where can I find information about this and other City ordinances?
The City's ordinances are available on our website: www.ci.walker.mi.us and can be accessed by hovering over Government and clicking on City Ordinances.
Income Tax Department   
Tax Updates  

Do you need help?
Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2015 and first quarter estimated payments for 2016 are due May 2, 2016. Forms are available on our website. Income Tax Form

The most common questions are answered on our website. Income Tax FAQ
 
Required attachments:
All resident returns must have the following attachments:
  • All form W-2s
  • Page 1 of Federal Form 1040
Filers taking a credit for tax paid to another city:
  • Copy of page one of the other city(ies) return
If applicable:
  • Federal Form 2106
  • Federal Form 3903
  • Federal Schedule C
  • Federal Schedule D, Forms 8949, 4797, 6252
  • Federal Schedule E, including Federal Schedule K-1 for all S corporations shown on Schedule E, if any
  • Copies of all forms 1099-R for taxpayers under age 65 
If you have any questions, please call 616-791-6880.
 
ZIP Codes
Many of the returns we are receiving from paid preparers and tax preparation software have incorrect ZIP codes in the taxpayer name and address information that were carried over from a prior year. The Post Office will not deliver your refund check to you if your ZIP code is wrong. Please check your ZIP code before mailing your Walker return. If you have any questions about your correct ZIP code, go to www.usps.com and click "Look Up a ZIP Code" in the Quick Tools menu.

Walker Ice & Fitness Center 
Updates and Events 
 
Adult Softball
  • Softball Leagues offered for Men's, Women's and Co-ed team 
  • Eight week season beginning June 13, 2016
  • Registration April 4 - April 16
  • Information packets available in March
Adult Softball Umpires Needed
  • Men's, Women's and Co-ed teams
  • Monday - Thursday evenings
  • Season begins week of June 13
  • Participation in Walker umpires classes required

Walker Memorial Day Parade

  • Monday, May 30, 2016 - 12:00 p.m.
  • Registration deadline - Monday, May 9, 2016
  • Parade route - Lake Michigan Dr. NW between Lincoln Lawn NW and St. Clair NW
  • All veterans, bands, floats, companies and organizations are invited to participate
  • Entry forms available at Walker Ice & Fitness Center or on our website.
For complete information on all of our programs, special events and schedules, please contact the Walker Ice and Fitness center at (616)735-6286, visit our facebook page or our website at www.walkericeandfitness.com.