Monthly e-Newsletter | May 2018 Edition
Hello from the Mayor
Greetings –

I hope your spring is off to a great start, the leaves are finally out, and the grass is getting greener. This also begins “construction season”. As you navigate the roads of Walker, please exercise caution in the construction zones. It will be challenging especially at the I-96 bridge over US-131. Mid-summer there will be a complete rebuild of Leonard between Kinney and Wilson Ave – yes there will be delays, but the road improvements will result in safe travels for many years in the future – please be patient.

The City Commission has been busy particularly with the budget. We continue to work to ensure that we use taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently. 

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

Mark E. Huizenga
Mayor
Save the Date: Monday, May 28

All Veterans, bands, floats, companies and organizations are invited to participate in the annual Walker Memorial Day Parade, you may register online at www.walkericeandfitness.com or pick up a form at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center. Registration is still open. Contact the Recreation Dept. for further information (616) 735-6286.

Spectators, we encourage you to come out and join us in honoring our Veterans’ and supporting our community on this special day!
Upcoming Events:
May 28: Memorial Day Parade at 12:00 pm
May 30: Walker Master Plan Community Workshop at 5:00 pm
June 4: Walker Parks and Rec Adult Softball Begins
June 11: KDL Walker Branch Summer Fun Kick Off Carnival at 4:00 pm
June 13: Walker PD Community Watch Meeting for Leonard Gardens/Appletree Estates
June 14: Kick-off for the Walker Standale Summer Concert Series: Brena at 6:30 pm
June 28: Walker Standale Summer Concert Series: Paradise Outlaws at 6:30 pm
FOLLOW OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR EVENT DETAILS AND UPDATES!
Walker Community Park: Playground Improvements
Park improvements continue to move forward as scheduled. The following was observed on May 7:
  • Sidewalk installation complete
  • Excavation for curb and play surface complete
  • Curb forms were in place and cement had been partially poured
Estimated completion date: June 13 (subject to weather)
Income Tax Department: Do you need help?
Did you file on time?
Walker Income Tax returns for calendar year 2017 and first quarter estimated payments for 2018 were due April 30, 2018. If you forgot to mail your return, please do so as soon as possible. Forms are available on our website at:  http://www.walker.city/income_tax_forms.php#
 
Where’s my refund?
For 2017 returns that showed a correct overpayment and included all required attachments, refund checks will be mailed by June 15, 2018. 

Plan for 2018
Now is a great time to make sure your employer is withholding the correct amount of Walker tax. Check your paystub to see if your local withholding rate is correct (1% for residents working in Walker or a city without an income tax; ½% for residents working in a city with an income tax). Also check your paystub to see if your employer is withholding for the correct city. Because Walker mailing addresses are Grand Rapids, many Walker residents have Grand Rapids tax withheld even if they don’t live or work in Grand Rapids. Correct withholding now will save you from a large balance due with your 2018 return.

If you have any questions, call (616) 791-6880 or e-mail incometax@walker.city .
Clerk's Office: Updates
City Hall Drop Box
Did you know you can drop off ANY document for ANY department to the gray City Hall Drop Box?! The Drop Dox is located outside City Hall by the USPS mailboxes.

Tuesday, August 7 is Election Day!
Register to vote in-person at the Clerk's Office or complete the online form found here.

Please call (616) 791-6865 for more information.
Walker Fire Department:
Grilling Safety Tips from the Walker Fire Dept. & NFPA
1.     Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must 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.
Walker Police Department: Department News
Walker Police Department recently hired two new officers, who are both in the field training process. If all goes well they will be out of field training by late summer. Corporal Bartels was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after an interview and testing process. He will take over for Sgt. Shoemaker, upon his retirement in July. Department wide “Small Team Tactics” training is happening in May, with department firearms qualifications to soon follow. Officers issued over 200 tickets last month, many with several infractions on one citation. Our speed board is commonly requested during summer months, but it is currently out of order. We are working to get it fixed and will deploy it as soon as we are able. 

The department held an annual “Awards Dinner.” Many members of the department were recognized for working above and beyond what is expected of them. Sgt. Raisanen was voted “Officer of the Year.” Don’t forget to check out our monthly reports, which can be found on the city website. This will allow you to see a breakdown of our calls for service, and highlight some higher profile cases that our patrol and detectives have handled. 
Summer brings block parties and neighborhood watch meetings. If you would like to host a block party, to promote community in your area, please fill out the form found on the city website and return it to the police department. We are holding a Community Watch Meeting for Leonard Gardens/Appletree Estates residents on June 13. We will host a city-wide Neighborhood Watch Meeting on July 17. Check our Facebook page for more information on these meetings.
Our Community Resource Office continues to be busy, and has conducted community education seminars at many area businesses, schools, and churches. Some topics presented include Active Shooter Event Response, Scam Awareness, and Business Safety. We are also working on creating a Recruiting Team, as hiring qualified candidates becomes more and more competitive. Look for our cruiser at the City’s Summer Celebration on July 11.

Stay up to date and follow us on Facebook, by clicking the green button below.
Please join us in welcoming Officer Logan McIntyre. Logan started with the Walker Police Department on April 16, 2018.

Logan worked for the New Buffalo Police Department for just over 4 years.

Welcome Logan!
Please join us in welcoming Officer Matthew Welch. Matt started with the Walker Police Department on April 16, 2018.

Matt worked part-time during the last year for both the Grant and Sparta Police Departments.

Welcome Matt!
KDL Walker Branch
Summer Fun Kick Off Carnival
Monday, June 11, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Launch your best summer yet with an outdoor carnival! Start the summer reading program, play games for prizes and enjoy lots more carnival-style fun. This year the Library is partnering with the City of Walker to create a fun event, with an inflatable obstacle course, carnival games such as plinko, music and food and more. 
For the 2018 sea son, the  Comstock Park East Grand Rapids Grandville Kelloggsville Kentwood Krause Memorial  in Rockford,  Walker and  Wyoming  branches plus our  Service and Meeting Center  will have Breezer Uptown EX 8-speed bicycles available for checkout. Each KDL Cruiser comes with a basket, a bike lock and key. All bikes will have a diagonal, step-through crossbar. 

The KDL Cruisers will be available from roughly May 1 to Oct. 31.

KDL Cruisers can be checked out to anyone age 18 or older with a KDL card in good standing and a photo ID. You'll be asked to sign a Bicycle Borrowing Agreement acknowledging financial responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged equipment. Adults will be allowed to sign waivers for children as long as the adult accompanies the children on the ride. Bikes check out for up to two days and must be returned before the library's closing time. Overdue fees are $20/day.

Although Michigan law doesn't require bicyclists to wear a helmet, the library strongly recommends customers bring their own.

To find out how many bikes are available at each branch,  check our catalog  for availability.
We'd love to see what adventures you take our KDL Cruisers on! Please share your photos with us by tagging us,  @KDLibrary , and using the hashtag  #KDLCruisers .
Special Events at the Walker Branch
Koombah Rain Sticks
Monday, June 18, 1:00 PM
Koo-oom-bah means creativity in Swahili! Join us and get creative using your imagination and a few craft supplies to create your own rain stick!

Ruff Readers
6:30 PM
June 18, June 25, July 2
Ruff Readers is a unique read-aloud program in partnership with West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc. that pairs kids with a trained therapy dog and their handler. Kids read their favorite book and the pooches curl up, listen and enjoy. Arrive 15 minutes early to sign in and secure a time slot.  First come, first served. Sponsored by Bissell.

KDL LAB Experience: Build with K’nex
Tuesday, June 19, 6:00 PM
Use your imagination to build with K’Nex or follow a project guide. KDL LAB Experience events allow children to think creativity, tinker, explore and collaborate while engaging in un-facilitated hands on activities based on STEM concepts.
Bubble Wonders
Wednesday, June 20, 10:00 AM
Experience amazing tricks with a visit to the world of bubbleology. This program is part science, part art, part inspiration and 100% fun. See bubble caterpillars, volcanos and even see a kid inside a bubble. 
Regular Events at the Walker Branch
Toddler Time
9:45 am to 10:15 am & 10:45 am to 11:15 am
Monday, June 11
Monday, June 18
Monday, June 25

Nurture your toddler's love of books through music, movement and stories while helping to develop their language, motor and social skills.

Family Storytime
Mondays 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Thursdays 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Thursday, June 14
Thursday, June 21
Thursday, June 28

Read and sing together. Enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills and encourage everyone in the family to share their love of reading.

Adult Book Discussion:
Tuesday, June 18
10:00 am to 11:00 am

Join us for an informal and lively discussion of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave.

Babytime
9:30 am to 10:15 am
Thursday, June 14
Thursday, June 21
Thursday, June 28

Delight and stimulate your baby with songs, a story and playtime. Get to know other families and help your baby develop listening and language skills.


Walker Ice & Fitness Center: 20 Years Strong at WIFC
Join us as we Celebrate 20 Years Strong in the Walker Community!

Summer Celebration

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
5:00 – 7:00pm
              
FREE Family event
Ice Skating, Fun Games, Dance Party and More

For more detail visit our Facebook page or www.WalkerIceAndFitness.com
Looking for the Perfect Grad Gift?
The Perfect Gift for that special Graduate
3-month student membership for $79!

This is a 20% savings off our regular student membership in honor of our 20 Year Anniversary!!

Stop at the front desk today for more information and to pick up your gift certificate!
Walker Parks and Recreation: Adult Softball
Adult Coed, Men’s and Women’s Softball games kick off the week of June 4 so make sure to come out and cheer on your favorite team! Games are played Monday – Thursday at 6:15pm and 7:30pm at Walker City fields. Everyone always has a good time so don’t miss out on the fun!
Special Funding for Farmers and Forest Landowners
Attention Walker residents in the Indian Mill Creek watershed! There is new funding for you made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The USDA awarded the Grand Valley Metro Council (GVMC) $2.8 million in federal funding to address resource concerns in both the Indian Mill Creek and Rogue River watersheds of the Lower Grand River. These important watersheds are targeted because of the vital role they play in supporting cold and warm water fish such as trout, salmon, and steelhead.

Agricultural and forest landowners can use this funding to implement conservation practices like cover crops, grassed waterways, forested stream buffers, erosional control structures, and forest stand improvement. By focusing these practices within these two watersheds, GVMC and the project’s 22 partners hope to see improved water quality, reduced sediment pollution, and increased fish habitat.
For more information on how to take advantage of this funding, go to www.lgrow.org/rcpp or contact your local USDA NRCS field office for a free site visit.
 
NRCS Grand Rapids Field Office: (616) 942‐4111 (x3)  







Walker Chamber of Commerce Upcoming Events
Quarterly Meetings are held at:
Walker City Hall
4243 Remembrance Rd.
Walker, MI 49534
Held quarterly the second Tuesday of the month

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Noon ­- 1:30 p.m.
Protecting Your Business, with the Walker Police Dept.

LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST
Friday, June 1
7:30 a.m. ­- 9:00 a.m.
Come join us for breakfast and a discussion with our Legislators!
Listen to their presentations and ask your questions! 

If your business would like to host an Walker After Work Event, please let us know!


Watch WalkerChamber.Eventbrite.com
for updates.
Follow our Facebook Page for announcements on our upcoming Walker Standale Summer Concert Series and Family Fun Movie in the Park Night!