City Newsletter - April 2017
Message from the Mayor
Mark Huizenga    
 
Greetings,

Spring is here and there are many activities to enjoy in the city. The Department of Public Works continues to prepare the parks for a busy summer season. Spring is also the beginning of construction season. I would like to highlight a few of the larger projects that you will see during the course of this spring and fall:
  • Walkerview - This project has been underway since late fall 2015 and will continue until the fall of 2017 with the completion of Northridge connecting to Bristol. There will be minimal traffic impacted in this area as Northridge is constructed to the East.
  • A collaborative project between the City of Grand Rapids and Walker will construct sidewalks along the north side of Richmond.
  • The city has committed significant resources for the repair of local roads - The engineers and department of public works staff will be evaluating where to best use resources to repair those local streets. We will update the public when we identify which streets will be resurfaced this year.
Please be cautious when approaching construction zones. Our employees and contractors are working to maintain and improve our city streets and infrastructure. Please be respectful of the posted construction speed limits, orange barrels and streets that are closed.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,

Mayor Mark E. Huizenga
New Walker Website Coming Soon 
Go Live Date is April 19,2017 
 

The City of Walker has some exciting news...

Our NEW website goes live on Wednesday, April 19, 2017!

We've been working away to bring you a new site that offers greater accessibility.

Here are just a few things you should know about the new site: 

We have a new URL www.walker.city We made this change to keep things simple. It was such a jumble to tell residents over the phone or in person. Don't worry though, when you visit our old site www.ci.walker.mi.us, it will automatically redirect you to the new homepage.

Our new site also features mobile recognition. It reformats to the device you are using, to make content more accessible. This is a BIG deal and was not previously a function on our site. This feature will make your phone scrolling so easy! Fun fact: Over 65% of the users that frequent the City of Walker website do so by using a mobile device.

The design now matches our updated look and logo, but does not change a large portion of the navigation. About 90% of the content is in the same place as before. We hope this helps with the ease of change.

If you have saved or book marked specific links from our old site, you may find that after April 19, 2017 they do not work. Start by going to our homepage and see if you can relocate the new link on your own. It's all there and this is a great way to practice using the new site. Still can't find it? Have no fear, we are here to help! Please email us at webmaster@walker.city and we are happy to assist you in locating the information.

We understand that change can be difficult! We are doing this to improve communication with our citizens and to provide more ease to those using the site. With time, we hope you will be more comfortable with the new site and grow to LOVE it. We also understand that things aren't perfect the first time around, so we also encourage your feedback. If you have questions, comments, concerns or corrections please email webmaster@walker.city or call the city at 616.453.6311 and we will follow up with you.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we make these much needed changes. We appreciate and love all our residents and we hope that this improvement will make Walker an even better place to live, work and grow.

Sincerely,

City of Walker Team

Standale Summer Concert Series
Community Sponsorships Now Available 
 
2017 Standale Summer Concert Series
Thank you to everyone who helped make our 2016 Summer Concert Series successful. The 2016 Summer Concert series featured five concerts with crowds that ranged from 225-3 50 community members. We are continuing this free family-friendly event in 2017! 

This year we are excited to celebrate five years of free family fun with the addition of a movie in the park at the end of the line-up.
 
2017 Musical Performance Line-Up:  All concerts are from 6:30-8:30 p.m. located in the Walker Community Park,  700 Cummings Ave. NW, Walker
2017 Movie in the Park: Presenting the movie SING
  • Thursday, August 17, 2017
Event festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. movie starts at 8:00 p.m.
The film has a run time of 1 hour 48 minutes. Located in Walker Community Park.
 
2017 Community Sponsor 
Are you interested in sponsoring the 2017 Standale Summer Concert Series? This series is a great way for your business to gain exposure in the Walker/Standale area! 

For more details about the events, please contact akneibel@walker.city.
Clerk's Office
Election

Upcoming Election:
There will be a countywide election on May 2, 2017. The 20 school districts in the Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) have authorized the ISD to seek a 10-year, $19.9 million, countywide millage. The last day to register to vote for this election will be April 3, 2017.

Absentee Ballots:
Prior to each election, voters may choose to receive their ballot early and vote prior to Election Day. You must fill out an application prior to each election before we can send out your ballot. For more information regarding the absentee ballot qualifications and the application, please visit our website.

Passports:
You can apply for a passport in the Clerk's Office. No appointments are necessary during Passport Office Hours which are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Visit our website for details on passport requirements. 

City Hall 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).

Alert!
All solicitors must be licensed by the city clerk to canvas within the City of Walker.  If someone comes to your door soliciting, please ask to see their Solicitor License from the City of Walker and proof of employment with the company.  If they refuse to show you their license or they state that they are not licensed, get their vehicle license plate number, name of the individual and the company name. Please report this to the Police Department at 616.453.5441.
Department of Public Works
Clean Up Days
   
Where: Behind City Hall, 4243 Remembrance Rd. NW. (t here will be signs).

Hours:
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 5, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

2017 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 W alker residency required (i.e. Drivers license, tax bill, voter card).

We Will Accept:
  • Appliances - Refrigerators will have to have coolant removed with certificate (check with appliance store)
  • Wood - Brush (i.e. leaves, grass clippings)
  • Metal
  • Misc.
Will Not Accept:
  • No TV's or computer monitors (Check with Advanced Technology Recycling 616.452.7779, free program)
  • Garbage
  • Hazardous waste (see examples below)
  • No commercial vehicles
Kent County has a household hazardous waste program. This would be toxic, flammable, corrosive or reactive materials.

Examples:
Rat poison, weed killers, bug sprays, mercury, o il base paint, paint thinners, lighter fluid, gasoline, a cids, lye, oven and toilet bowl cleaners, p ropane tanks, gas tanks, CO2, cylinders, car batteries, household batteries, and bleach mixed with ammonia

Any questions, call Walker Public Works at 616.791.6854.
Police Department
Civilian Response to an Active Shooter Event

The Walker Police Department, in collaboration with the Walker Chamber  of Commerce, will be hosting a "Civilian Response to an Active Shooter" training session for any business owner or employee in the Walker area. This event will take place May 16, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at City of Walker, City Hall ( 4243 Remembrance Rd. NW Walker, MI 49534).

Participants will learn about disaster response and how to prepare for and respond to being trapped inside a building during an active shooter event. Participants will learn strategies and tactics to assist law enforcement and to limit casualties.

This two-hour presentation will include:
  • The Avoid, Deny, Defend program
  • Looking at the bigger picture of how people react in disasters and high stress events
  • Disaster response psychology and the three-phase process that everyone goes through during these events
  • An Active Shooter Case Study
  • Police and EMS Response
The training instructor is a certified Walker Police Sergeant, versed in the field of preparing and responding to critical incidents involving persons in psychological crisis, intending on inflicting harm to civilians/employees within our business community.

Presented by Walker Police Sergeant Andy Veen. RSVP to aveen@walker.city or 616.791.6219 by May 1, 2017.

If you are a business owner or employee, please visit the city website for additional details on this free training opportunity.
Kent District Library
Upcoming Events  
     
   
Our 2017 Seed Library is back! Seed packets are available at the Walker Branch of Kent District Library to help you jumpstart your garden. Limitation of five packets per person.

What is a Seed Library?
A seed library is a self-perpetuating collection of heirloom seeds.

Why Save Seeds?
Growing and saving the seeds of heirloom plants offers a more diverse and stronger seed stock of plants that are well-suited to Michigan's climate. Plus growing your own food is fun and delicious. Many commercial hybrid seeds are bred for uniformity and shelf life - not taste.

Borrow. Grow. Save.

Visit here for more information about the KDL Seed Library.

Click here to view upcoming events.
Downtown Development Authority
Parking Study Survey
   
Standale DDA Owners / Operators: Your DDA offi cials initiated a downtown parking study on 2-21-17. An essential part of the study involves surveys of business owner/ operators,
employees and customers. Please post this survey flyer  (do wn load flyer)  where your employees and customers can access the QR codes. A smartphone app can read the code. Survey takers will be linked to the dig ital form of the survey on the internet. Survey responses will be tabulated and reported at a public meeting. Those without a QR code reader can access the online surveys using the following links: 
DDA Employee Survey

Customer Survey

Please consider contacting Frank Wash at the City of Walker at fwash@walker.city to be added to the email update / reporting list for the DDA parking study. Thank you for your partnership and cooperation. 


Mayor Mark Huizenga, Walker City Commissioners & the Standale Downtown Development Authority
Fire Department
Grilling Safety Tips

  1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills can only be used outdoors. If used indoors or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
  2. Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  3. Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
  4. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
  5. Use long handled grilling tools to give you plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.
  6. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so a hot grill cannot ignite it.
  7. For charcoal grills, make sure you purchase the proper starter fluid, and store the can out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  8. Never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal lighter fluid to get the fire going, and never add lighter fluid to coals that have already been ignited.
  9. As with cooking indoors, when cooking outdoors on the grill you should never leave the grill unattended.
  10. If you live in an apartment, you should check with the management concerning the rules pertaining to the use of grills on decks or under overhangs. The International Fire Code prohibits the use of open flame grills on balconies. The exception would be grills that use a small one-pound propane bottle. We have required all apartment complexes in Walker to enforce this rule

Income Tax Department
Updates

Do you need help?
Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2016 and first quarter estimated payments for 2017 are due May 1, 2017. Forms are available on our website here. The most common questions are answered on our website here.
 
We are happy to prepare your Walker return at the counter free of charge. Call (616)791-6880 for an appointment. Appointments are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday -Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Fridays. We are unable to schedule appointments on the due date of the return which is May 1, 2017.
 
Required attachments
All resident returns must have the following attachments:
  • All form W-2s
  • Page one 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 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. If your ZIP code is wrong, the Post Office will not deliver your refund check to you. Please check your ZIP code before mailing your Walker return. If you have any questions about your correct ZIP code, go to USPS and look up your Zip code.
Walker Ice & Fitness Center  
Events and Updates   
   
2017 Adult Softball Team Registrations 
  • Due April 16, 2017
  • Get your team together for some summer fun!  
  • Men's, Women's and Co-Ed Leagues available
 
2017 City of Walker Memorial Day Parade 
  • Monday, May 29,2017 at 12:00 p.m. on Lake Michigan Drive.  
  • The parade is sponsored by the City of Walker, Downtown Development Authority and Keller Ford. 
  • If you or your organization would like to participate this year, please fill out an entry form found on our website by Monday, May 8.
Hockey Association of Western Kent (HAWK's) 
  • Travel tryouts the week of May 1,2017
  • Call Mike Fountain at 616.735.6112 for more information.

Shoe Drive Fundraiser

D o   y o u   h a v e   o l d   s h o e s   t a k i n g   u p   s p a c e   a n d   c o l l e c t i n g   d u s t   i n   y o u r   c l o s e t ?   W e ' d   b e   h a p p y   t o   t a k e   t h e m   o f f   y o u r   h a n d s !   J u s t   b r i n g   y o u r
gently used shoes to the Walker Ice & Fitness Center (415Remembrance Rd. NW) by May 26, 2017.
BONUS: 
For every bag of 25 pairs of shoes you bring in, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a free three-month Walker Ice & Fitness gym membership.
The proceeds from collected shoes will go toward funding the Walker Youth Commission's trail project.

For complete information on all of our programs, special events and schedules, please contact the Walker Ice and Fitness center at 616.735.6286, www.walkericeandfitness.com or visit our Facebook page.