City Newsletter - February 2016

Message from the Mayor
Mark Huizenga
 
Walker Residents, 

This time of the year the Commission is busy working on the budget for the next year. The last several years we have made significant allocations to improve our parks. Last year we started the construction of the Walker Community Park pavilion, as well as several other upgrades to sidewalks, electrical services and excavation of the hill to create an enhanced viewing area for concerts and other events.

As we continue to invest in our neighborhood parks, we want to invite YOU, our residents to help us identify improvements. The city's parks planning group will be conducting a meeting with residents, staff and elected officials on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:00 p.m. at Fire Station #3 (located at 1470 3 Mile Road NW). We are currently considering a new basketball court and disc golf course, but we want to learn more about the upgrades you would like to see. Come spend time sharing your ideas on how we can make our parks system better for all of us!

Do you know your US Representative? Would you like to hear firsthand what is happening in Washington? On March 11, from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Congressman Bill Huizenga will be presenting to the Walker Chamber of Commerce. Congressman Huizenga will be the featured guest at the Chamber's legislative update meeting. The meeting will be held in the Walker Commission Chambers at city hall. Members of the Chamber as well as you the public, are invited to learn what is happening in Washington DC, as well as to ask questions.

Please use these opportunities to connect with your local government!

Best Regards,

Mayor Mark E. Huizenga

Fire Department 
Car Seat Checks
 
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Safe Kids Coalition will be offering car seat installations locally at Fire Station #2 located at 4101 Lake Michigan Drive, N.W.

2016 Dates:
Friday, March 4
Friday, May 6
Friday, July 8
Friday, November 4

The installations will be held between 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.   Please remember to bring your car seat. If you have any questions, please call 391-7233.

This is a free service open to all.  
Clerk's Office
Updates
 
Upcoming Election:
There will be a Presidential Primary Election on Tuesday, March 8. The last day to register to vote for this election was February 8, 2016.
Please know that you will be asked to choose a Ballot Type (Republican or Democratic Party) in order to vote.
Michigan election law requires a voter to request a specific party's ballot for the presidential primary at the time they apply for a ballot. This type of primary is called a closed primary. This requirement is ONLY for the Presidential Primary. If a voter does not designate a ballot type selection, they will not receive a ballot for the March 8, 2016 presidential primary.
 
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.
 
Military / Overseas Voters 
Military personnel or U.S. citizens currently overseas can visit www.fvap.gov for a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. A form must be submitted every year in order to qualify to receive an absentee ballot for the elections held on that calendar year.
 
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)

Police Department 
Snow Removal Reminder
 
The police department receives numerous complaints during the winter months regarding private plow services and residents clearing driveways and depositing the snow on the public roadway or sidewalks. As the listed ordinance indicates, it is not permitted and we are asking for everyone's cooperation to ensure safe travels.
  • Sec. 70-64. - Snow removed from private property not to be deposited on street or sidewalk.
No snow or ice shall be removed from private property and be deposited upon or plowed across any public street or sidewalk. The plowing of snow into the street and spreading of snow within the street is prohibited.

We appreciate your assistance in keeping our sidewalks and roads clear of snow.  
Assessing Office   
2016 Assessment Change Notice

If you have not received your 2016 Assessment Change Notice (also known as form L-4400 "Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation, and Property Classification") in the mail, you should be getting it in the next week. This form contains some very important information on the parcel of property that you own in the City of Walker. The main purpose of this form is to tell you the City's estimate of value for your property.  The 2016 Assessed Value and State Equalized Value should be the same amount and if you multiply that number by two. This will tell you our estimate of true cash value of your property.

If you do not agree with our estimate of value, please feel free to appeal your valuation. You can do so by calling (616) 791-6862 to set up an appeal time or refer to the notice for times and dates. To be successful with your appeal, it is best to supply our Board of Review with proof of value. A recent appraisal, recent sales of similar properties, list of values of similar properties, list of current issues with your property (photos are helpful) are all examples of proof needed. The following are also on your Assessment Change Notice and you should review them for accuracy:
  • 2016 Taxable Value (TV) - CPI for 2016 is 0.30% - If there was not new construction or a transfer of ownership, then the TV should only increase by the 0.30%.
  • Transfer of Ownership - it will note whether the property exchanged hands or not in 2015.
  • Classification - 401/402 are for residential, 301/302 are for industrial, and 201/202 are for commercial.
  • Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) - If you own and occupy your home, this should be 100%.
  • Name, Mailing Address and Property Address - Check for accuracy.
If there are issues with any of these, please call us at the number above. Some of these issues may be fixed over the phone. Thank you.

 


Walker Ice & Fitness Center 
Updates and Events 
 
Co-ed Spring Youth Soccer
  • Boys and Girls  Ages 5 -13
  • Practices on weekdays - Games on Saturdays
  • Practices begin the week of April 11
  • First game on Saturday, April 23, 2016
  • Registration Feb. 1 - Feb. 29 at WIFC
Youth Soccer Officials Needed 
  • Spring Youth Soccer Program - Ages 5-13
  • Games on Saturdays
  • Season begins on Saturday, April 23, 2016
  • Minimum age is 14 years old
  • Must have soccer experience
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
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.