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

You can tell it's almost spring! I just saw my first robin. I'm sure there will be several more days when it doesn't feel like spring, but the calendar says it's close. One of the ways the City celebrates spring is our annual Easter Egg Hunt. 

This year we will be hosting the 2017 Easter Egg Hunt on April 8 at 11:00 a.m. The event will be held at the Walker Ice & Fitness Center. We look forward to seeing children from ages 2 - 8 participate in the egg hunt. We will also have the Easter Bunny available for pictures.

As always, if you have a question or would like to meet with me about a City issue, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

Mayor Mark E. Huizenga
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.
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.

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.
Kent District Library
SculptureWorks Partnership  
 
 
 
   
Books and libraries inspire art! In February, the Walker branch of Kent District Library started a partnership with ScluptureWorks out of Texas. In the years since SculptureWorks began, it has remained devoted to the promotion of the nation's public libraries through the placement and display of sculpture. 

Library patrons across the country have been privileged to view unique artwork from dozens of talented sculptors through their sculpture display program. Walker currently has twelve sculptures on display. Pictured are just a few. Visit the Walker Branch to view the entire collection.

Thanks to the sculptors whose art is pictured here: Paul Oestreicher, Leo E. Osborne, Rosetta, and Rik Sargent.

Click here to view upcoming events.
Engineering Department
2017 Planned Projects     
   
2016 was a very busy year in the Engineering Department. We administered a variety of projects including road widening, resurfacing, trail/sidewalk installation, a new tunnel, traffic signal, a water tank, and even some new roads in private developments. 
We appreciate your patience through these much needed improvements to our community.  

2017 Planned Project include:

The resurfacing of Turner Avenue from West River Drive south to the city limits, which coincides with the US-131 ramps. The project will take about a month, but when completed will have similar results to the project we had on Walker Avenue, south of Waldorf, last summer.

We are working with Grand Rapids to extend the sidewalk along the north side of Richmond Street to connect our two communities. The project will help connect Maplerow Avenue east to Acacia Drive. Richmond is very narrow within the Grand Rapids section near Brandywine Creek, so we encourage you to plan for some potential delays and minor inconvenience.

We are working to secure grant funding to assist with the realignment of the I-96 Eastbound off ramp at Walker Avenue. This would clean up the access management issues we see at the entrance of McDonalds and the Meijer gas station. The realigned intersection with Holton Court would be signalized to assist vehicles exiting the highway. While funding is uncertain at this time, we hope to break ground in late 2017 or early 2018.

Reconstruction of Leonard Street from Kinney Avenue to Wilson Avenue, reconstruction of Kinney from Three Mile Road south to Waldorf Avenue, and the addition of dual left turns at the intersection of Three Mile Road and Walker Avenue highlight our anticipated future project list.

We are also beginning to work on designs for future projects. These are long anticipated enhancements that have been requested from residents and business owners throughout the city. 

Click here to view our interactive map covering City of Walker Construction Projects. This tool displays projects planned for the years 2017-2020. We are also working hard to include information on MDOT roads or other regional projects that might impact our residents. Project updates will be added as they become available. Feel free to check back as we firm up dates and plans for these projects.
Police Department
Neighborhood Watch Meeting     
   

There will be a Neighborhood Watch meeting on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held at Fire Station #3 ( 1470 3 Mile Rd., NW 49544). Event is open to the public. 

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
Outdoor Warning Sirens

The City of Walker has eight outdoor warning sirens located throughout the City. The sirens are tested on the first Friday of each month from April through October. 

During the spring and summer months these sirens are used to alert the residents in Walker that may be outdoors of the potential for severe weather (tornadoes, high winds) that may be eminent within Kent County and the City of Walker. 

Currently, the Kent County Sherriff's Department Dispatch sets off the sirens when they receive information from the National Weather Service. If the possibility of a High Wind Warning (Over 70 MPH), or a Tornado Warning is issued, the sirens will be activated. The sirens, once activated, will sound for three minutes and be followed every 10 to 15 minutes until the warnings are canceled. If you are outside during this activation, please go inside and turn on your radio, television, computer or smart phone for more weather information.

The first siren test for this year will take place on Friday, April 7 at 12:00 noon. The sirens will sound for three minutes.
Walker Ice & Fitness Center  
Events and Updates   
   
Girls' Softball & Spring Soccer Programs
We are still accepting registrations for the Girls' Softball and Spring Soccer Programs. Openings are limited and are on a first come basis.  The seasons begin the week of April 10.

Hockey Try-outs
HAWK Hockey Spring Tryouts for House and Travel levels take place the week of March 20. Information and registration at www.hawkhockey.net 

Easter Egg Hunt
  • Saturday, April 8 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Walker Ice & Fitness Center (4151 Remembrance Rd. NW)
  • Boys and Girls ages 2-8
  • Hunt for wrapped candy and prize eggs that can be redeemed for prizes
  • Easter Bunny available for pictures
Adult Softball
  • Men's, Women's and Co-ed Softball Leagues
  • Eight week season beginning June 12, 2017
  • Registration April 3 through April 15 at Walker Ice & Fitness Center
  • Information packets available March 1
Job Openings
The Recreation Department is now hiring softball umpires for both the Girls' and Adult Softball Programs and soccer  officials for the Spring Soccer Program. Please visit our website at www.walkericeandfitness.com or contact the Recreation Department at (616)735-6286 for more information.

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.